Towards Wireless Spiking of Smart Locks

Abdullah Z. Mohammed, Alok Singh, Gokcen Y. Dayanikli, Ryan Gerdes, Mani Mina, Ming Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The rapid growth of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) has made Smart Homes not only possible but popular in our society. While devices such as wireless security cameras, smart locks, etc. can be more convenient than their traditional counterparts, and may even lead to an increased sense of security, they may actually cause an increase in the attack surface of a home. For example, successful cyber attacks against these smart devices has been extensively documented in the literature. In contrast to existing work we discuss the vulnerabilities of these devices from a cyber-physical perspective; specifically, the threat posed by intentional electromagnetic interference (IEMI). In this paper, we present a methodology to carry out 'wireless spiking' attacks on smart lock devices that would allow an unauthenticated adversary to open a lock, without direct physical tampering, through the manipulation of its electrical control circuitry using IEMI. We demonstrate the proposed methodology - reverse engineering, identification of attack points, development of an attack vector, and design and transmission of attack signals - on a commercially popular smart lock. In doing so we lay the groundwork for wireless spiking attacks on smart locks, in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 43rd IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy Workshops, SPW 2022
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781665496438
StatePublished - 2022
Event43rd IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy Workshops, SPW 2022 -
Duration: Jan 1 2022 → …

Publication series

NameProceedings - 43rd IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy Workshops, SPW 2022


Conference43rd IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy Workshops, SPW 2022
Period1/1/22 → …


  • cyber physical systems security
  • intentional electromagnetic interference (IEMI)
  • IoT security
  • smart lock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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