MITRE Challenge IoT

From homes to hospitals, the power grid, the highway, and the battlefield, the Internet of Things (IoT) is poised to change the ways people live, business is done, and government functions.

The IoT's massive interconnections of devices, or "things," will lead to new efficiencies and capabilities. Imagine an intelligent hospital system that links patient monitoring devices with drug infusion pumps to prevent overdose and reduce false alarms. Or a smart city that schedules its maintenance work to minimize street blockages.

But amid this promise are enormous challenges. With so many potential points of entry that could be exploited, how do we protect our cars, homes, and factories? Organizations, from utility providers and hospitals, to corporations and the military, are wondering how to manage the IoT to ensure security and privacy within their different operating systems and environments.

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.

We are looking for non-traditional approaches for identifying IoT devices. In the future, manufacturers may embed unique digital signatures into each device. For today, we need to be able 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.

Why You Should Join the Challenge

MITRE's Unique Identification of IoT Devices Challenge offers participants from around the world:

  • The chance to win as much as $50,000.
  • Recognition and promotion for coming up with a game-changing solution.
  • The opportunity to connect with government agencies looking for IoT solutions.
  • The opportunity to work with MITRE experts to better understand the government’s needs. (Note: All Intellectual Property remains in the hands of the inventor.)

Challenge Details

This Challenge is open to a broad range of competitors. We welcome individual entrepreneurs, college teams looking to showcase their talents, and large and small companies trying to make their mark in the IoT space.

We're looking for a simple, affordable solution to identify devices within an IoT network so rogue devices can be discovered. The MITRE IoT team has built a model home network to serve as a testbed for the Challenge. This robust home system includes a broad array of affordable devices with diverse operating characteristics. We believe that the identification techniques that prove effective in a home system will translate to industrial, healthcare, military, smart city, and other IoT networks.

Get Ready for the Launch!

September-October: Registration site open. We will be asking for a team name, contact information, and other data to start the registration process. So start brainstorming on a clever team name.

November-December: The Challenge will open in mid November for approximately eight weeks. (The precise date will be provided during final registration.) 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.

January: We plan to close the Challenge on January 17. If no team submits a 100 percent correct solution, the team with the highest percentage will win; however, a team must score at least 80 percent to be eligible for the $50,000 prize.

If you would like to receive email updates on the IoT Challenge, sign up here.