New SPLICE thesis: ‘TorSH: Obfuscating consumer Internet-of-Things traffic with a collaborative smart-home router network’

Adam Vandenbussche’s (Dartmouth College ’22) undergraduate thesis presents The Onion Router for Smart Homes (TorSH) — a network of smart-home routers working collaboratively to defend smart-device traffic from analysis by ISP-like adversaries.

When consumers install Internet-connected “smart devices” in their homes, metadata arising from the communications between these devices and their cloud-based service providers enables adversaries privy to this traffic to profile users, even when adequate encryption is used. Internet service providers (ISPs) are one potential adversary privy to users’ incoming and outgoing Internet traffic and either currently use this insight to assemble and sell consumer advertising profiles or may in the future do so.

With existing defenses against such profiling falling short of meeting user preferences and abilities, there is a need for a novel solution that empowers consumers to defend themselves against profiling by ISP-like actors and that is more in tune with their wishes. TorSH succeeds in deterring such profiling while preserving smart-device experiences and without encumbering latency-sensitive, non-smart-device experiences like web browsing.

To learn more, check out Adam’s thesis below.

Vandenbussche, Adam, “TorSH: Obfuscating consumer Internet-of-Things traffic with a collaborative smart-home router network” (2022). Dartmouth College Undergraduate Theses. 263.

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