Kelechi Eze, Prairie View A&M University

Distributed Access Control and Identity Management for the Internet of Things based on Blockchain Smart Contracts

Abstract: The Internet of Things (IoT) has grown to a magnitude where we have over 20 billion IoT devices connected online. IoT is very useful in the industry where automation of industrial processes is made a lot more efficient. Collaborations among stakeholders are also made efficient by IoT. While the IoT paradigm empowers flexible information and resource sharing, there are security and privacy concerns due to inherent vulnerabilities. The security challenges posed by IoT include increase in the attack surface and explosion of vulnerable devices that can be used to perform attacks such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS).  A distributed Access Control for these devices is very important for the preservation of the integrity and confidentiality of data and prevention of attacks. It can also solve the problem of single point of failure that comes with centralized approach in IoT networks. The blockchain is a distributed network with features of smart contracts, immutability of records, consensus algorithm, distributed database, cascaded encryption and superior fault tolerance. These features are what make blockchain suitable for IoT security. In this work, we design and implement a distributed access control and identity management for IoT using Ethereum blockchain smart contracts. Solidity programing language and Remix Integrated Development Environment (IDE) are used for the development of access control and identity management smart contracts. Deploying compiled smart contracts is done over Ethereum JavaScript API. Smart contract is deployed first on Ethereum test network and then to a private blockchain network. The results show that the Ethereum blockchain Smart Contracts can be used to securely control access and manage identity in an IoT environment. We use few raspberry pis to simulate IoT devices for a proof of concept. Our future study will be on scaling the IoT system up with as many IoT devices as possible to gain insight into relationship between scale and performance in the IoT-blockchain network.

Presentation Author(s):
Kelechi G Eze*

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