MITRE Dangles $50K Prize For Spotting Rogue IoT Devices

The MITRE Corporation is challenging individuals to come up with a novel means of identifying rogue devices on an Internet of Things network. (Photo courtesy of MITRE)

In-brief: MITRE Corporation is offering a $50,000 prize for anyone who can develop a novel way for spotting changes to Internet of Things networks. 

MITRE Corporation, the non-profit corporation that helps tackle some of the trickiest technical and security challenges out there is dangling a $50,000 prize for  anyone who can develop a solution for spotting rogue devices within an Internet of Things Network.

The company announced its MITRE Challenge IoT over the summer, saying that it was looking for ground breaking new approaches to securing diverse Internet of Things networks like those in connected homes.


With so many potential points of entry that could be exploited, how do we protect our cars, homes, and factories? …

Network administrators need to know exactly what is in the environment, or the network—including when an adversary has switched out one device for another. In other words, is the smart thermostat we see today the same one that was there yesterday? We are looking for a unique identifier or fingerprint to enable administrators to enumerate the IoT devices while passively observing the network.

The MITRE Challenge, Unique Identification of IoT Devices, seeks to discover possible solutions to this potential threat so our sponsors can reap the benefits of this technological evolution, while minimizing the risks.

[Read more Security Ledger coverage of MITRE.]

While strong, immutable thing identities may be a reality in the future, greatly simplifying security, MITRE said that no such technology yet exists, creating a need to “monitor the products already in use.”

We’re looking for a game-changing approach to identifying devices that would require no modification to the existing inventory, e.g., no change in protocols or manufacturing.

MITRE has constructed a sample connected home network as a test bed. After collecting applications over the summer (the registration site appears to still be up, btw), MITRE is shifting to the next stage in the contest today: sending registered teams a link to “short radio frequency recordings of our home environment.”

Each recording will contain a wide array of interconnected devices with some changes made to the network over time. Based on the recordings, participants must answer a set of questions about the home network, such as identifying the devices on it. Next, participants need to say what might have changed on the network – such as a device coming on to or leaving the network.

Scores will be based on how many answers are correct and how quickly participants submit their answers. The scoreboard will be updated daily with team standings.

MITRE was awarded $29 million from the U.S. Commerce Department in 2014 to establish the nation’s first federally funded National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE).  Under that contract, MITRE is responsible for  operating the federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) in the areas of research, development, engineering and technical support; operations management; and facilities management. This is the first FFRDC dedicated to enhancing the security of the nation’s information systems, NIST said.

Read more here: MITRE Challenge IoT

One Comment

  1. Ha ha ha ha Yes easily find out the IP Addresses the IOT devices is attached to then easily find the physical geographical address – This is all hype and propaganda – Why I wonder?