Intelligent intrusion detection in low power IoTs

Ahmed Saeed, Ali Ahmadinia*, Abbas Javed, Hadi Larijani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)
645 Downloads (Pure)


Security and privacy of data are one of the prime concerns in today’s Internet of Things (IoT). Conventional security techniques like signature-based detection of malware and regular updates of a signature database are not feasible solutions as they cannot secure such systems effectively, having limited resources. Programming languages permitting immediate memory accesses through pointers often result in applications having memory-related errors, which may lead to unpredictable failures and security vulnerabilities. Furthermore, energy efficient IoT devices running on batteries cannot afford the implementation of cryptography algorithms as such techniques have significant impact on the system power consumption. Therefore, in order to operate IoT in a secure manner, the system must be able to detect and prevent any kind of intrusions before the network (i.e., sensor nodes and base station) is destabilised by the attackers. In this article, we have presented an intrusion detection and prevention mechanism by implementing an intelligent security architecture using random neural networks (RNNs). The application’s source code is also instrumented at compile time in order to detect out-of-bound memory accesses. It is based on creating tags, to be coupled with each memory allocation and then placing additional tag checking instructions for each access made to the memory. To validate the feasibility of the proposed security solution, it is implemented for an existing IoT system and its functionality is practically demonstrated by successfully detecting the presence of any suspicious sensor node within the system operating range and anomalous activity in the base station with an accuracy of 97.23%. Overall, the proposed security solution has presented a minimal performance overhead.
Original languageEnglish
Article number27
Journal ACM Transactions on Internet Technology
Issue number4
Early online date1 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • low power design
  • intrusion detection
  • computing systems


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