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Paper accepted at IEEE Internet of Things Journal

MAY 3, 2021

Federated Learning-based Anomaly Detection for IoT Security Attacks

The Internet of Things (IoT) is made up of billions of physical devices connected to the Internet via networks that perform tasks independently with less human intervention. Such brilliant automation of mundane tasks requires a considerable amount of user data in digital format, which in turn makes IoT networks an open-source of Personally Identifiable Information data for malicious attackers to steal, manipulate and perform nefarious activities. Huge interest has developed over the past years in applying machine learning (ML)-assisted approaches in the IoT security space. However, the assumption in many current works is that big training data is widely available and transferable to the main server because data is born at the edge and is generated continuously by IoT devices. This is to say that classic ML works on the legacy set of entire data located on a central server, which makes it the least preferred option for domains with privacy concerns on user data. To address this issue, we propose federated learning (FL)-based anomaly detection approach to proactively recognize intrusion in IoT networks using decentralized on-device data. Our approach uses federated training rounds on Gated Recurrent Units (GRUs) models and keeps the data intact on local IoT devices by sharing only the learned weights with the central server of the FL. Also, the approach’s ensembler part aggregates the updates from multiple sources to optimize the global ML model's accuracy. Our experimental results demonstrate that our approach outperforms the classic/centralized machine learning (non-FL) versions in securing the privacy of user data and provides an optimal accuracy rate in attack detection.

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