Multi-User Multi-Device-Aware Access Control System for Smart Home

11/22/2019 ∙ by Amit Kumar Sikder, et al. ∙ 0

In a smart home system, multiple users have access to multiple devices, typically through a dedicated app installed on a mobile device. Traditional access control mechanisms consider one unique trusted user that controls the access to the devices. However, multi-user multi-device smart home settings pose fundamentally different challenges to traditional single-user systems. For instance, in a multi-user environment, users have conflicting, complex, and dynamically changing demands on multiple devices, which cannot be handled by traditional access control techniques. To address these challenges, in this paper, we introduce Kratos, a novel multi-user and multi-device-aware access control mechanism that allows smart home users to flexibly specify their access control demands. Kratos has three main components: user interaction module, backend server, and policy manager. Users can specify their desired access control settings using the interaction module which are translated into access control policies in the backend server. The policy manager analyzes these policies and initiates negotiation between users to resolve conflicting demands and generates final policies. We implemented Kratos and evaluated its performance on real smart home deployments featuring multi-user scenarios with a rich set of configurations (309 different policies including 213 demand conflicts and 24 restriction policies). These configurations included five different threats associated with access control mechanisms. Our extensive evaluations show that Kratos is very effective in resolving conflicting access control demands with minimal overhead. We also performed two user studies with 72 smart home users, one to better understand user's needs in before the design and the other to test the efficacy of Kratos.

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