MITRE Announces Winner of Internet of Things (IoT) Challenge

McLean, Va. and Bedford, Mass., January 27, 2017—A team from Georgia has won the MITRE Unique Identification of Things (IoT) Challenge. Team 0xDEADBEEF, led by Duncan Thompson, won $50,000 by posting the highest score in the competition.

The two runner up teams are: Pulzze Systems, a start-up company from Silicon Valley, and Tietronix, a small company located in Houston. Both work in the IoT field.

MITRE created the IoT Challenge, which attracted 130 teams worldwide, to identify innovative ideas for addressing a key security issue inherent in IoT networks—identifying the devices on the network and knowing when changes occur. Our goal is to help government agencies, industry, and individuals reap the benefits of the IoT technological evolution—while minimizing the risks. The MITRE IoT Challenge launched in October and ended on January 16.

"The top three teams had different approaches to solving the problem, which is what we hoped would happen," said Jeff Schwefler, who created and led the Challenge. "These teams are willing to share their knowledge with MITRE's government sponsors at an event to be held in the spring.

"The Challenge showed that there is no one answer to the problem of IoT security. There’s still a lot more work to be done in this area. What we’ve learned already has helped reveal the gaps in our knowledge and where we need to do additional work to identify devices in a real-world network."

Schwefler led a team of MITRE subject matter experts and interns to create the core of the Challenge, setting up a model home network that included a large number of IoT devices, such as door locks, thermostats, and lighting controls. They re-created a home setting because of the wide availability of affordable devices and because a solution that works in the home could be adapted to other network environments, such as a hospital or military facility.

Each registered team was given access to radio frequency (RF) capture data from the model home network. The first recording was a baseline RF capture of the environment. The second recording was a "challenge" RF recording in which IoT devices were added, removed, or modified. Each team needed to answer a series of questions about the baseline and challenge recordings, which allowed MITRE to assess the team’s ability to uniquely identify devices.

Top Three Scoring Teams

Team 0xDEADBEEF

Led by Duncan Thompson, from Roswell, Georgia. Thompson works for Ciena as a hardware engineer working on verification for optical networking switches. He graduated from Georgia Tech with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer engineering. The team learned about the Challenge from an article in ZDNet and, driven by curiosity, decided to give it a shot.

Team Pulzze Systems

Pulzze, a technology company headquartered in Silicon Valley, is developing systems to advance IoT technology in the areas of end point detection, entity recognition, and service interaction. It previously received an award from the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and the National Science Foundation to bring innovative ideas to this field. Team members include Peter Jung, Baek Soo Kwak, Kausik Sridhar, Jason Monroe, David Jung, and Divya Sridhar.

Team Tietronix

Tietronix Software, based in Houston, Texas, provides innovative engineering and software solutions to government and commercial clients. It specializes in software development, IT security, training and simulation, managing multiple sources of innovation such as internal R&D projects, government agency-funded research, and projects with universities. Tietronix has received numerous awards, including multiple Exceptional Software of the Year Awards from the NASA Johnson Space Center. Team Tietronix members include William Baker, Svetlana Hanson, Cody Hodges, Steve Knight, Kyle Nguyen, Glen Rieke and Ngoc Vu. CEO Victor Tang is the executive sponsor.

Visit mitre.org for more information, including Frequently Asked Questions about the Challenge.

Related Resources
Media Resources

About The MITRE Corporation
The MITRE Corporation is a not-for-profit organization that operates research and development centers sponsored by the federal government. Learn more about MITRE.

The MITRE Corporation, mitre.org
Follow us:
twitter.com/MITREcorp
facebook.com/MITREcorp

Betsy Yates
Public Affairs Lead
byates@mitre.org  (781) 271-4894

MITRE Media Contact

Our Public Affairs team serves as the main point of contact for all media requests and public inquiries regarding MITRE.

Contact us by email

Additional contact info