Communications of the IIMA

Article Title

Online Threats and Security Challenges for Smart Cities


Digital and Media security view of a smart city identifies a holistic component of the security landscape within a smart city in places such as Prairie View, Hempstead, Brenham, Waller, Pine Island, Hockley etc. These will pinpoint the security threats and provide insight into the digital investigation to protect the smart cities concept. Smart Cities are made up of diverse and interconnected network components that are easily hacked and compromised by various bad actors. These components include Smart Grids, Smart vehicles with enabling Internet of Things [IoT], the Cloud platform etc. With the increase of IoT, threats and criminal misuse in these smart cities are exploding exponentially while the remedies to mitigate these concerns are lacking. When a breach involving critical component of the smart city infrastructure happens, measures must be implemented to mitigate evidence to facilitate the forensic investigation process. Digital and media forensic preparedness and solutions from best practices from past forensic analysis will curtain and help protect affected smart cities against future attacks. Since smart cities services extend into several IOT domains including health, home energy management, smart environment – smart grids; smart living – the building of automation systems; smart mobility – unmanned aerial vehicles or smart vehicles, etc., any mishap of smart city vulnerability, when exploited by a hostile or malicious actor, can jeopardize city projects. In cases of a smart power grid, protection is needed because of its interconnected components. Some of these components include smart meters that record energy consumptions which relays data to power companies in the rural area. If these are not protected, vicious actors can sniff for data which can be used to profile home users. Malicious actors can attack vulnerable rural infrastructures by jamming the signal of smart meter transmissions. These could trigger impair demand- response on household in targeted vicinities. Vicious cyber actors can launch distributed denial-of-service [DDoS] attacks on unwitting rural dwellers thereby hampering the supply of critical services to their homes. Another area of concern is the smart cities that use intelligent transportation system to resolve traffic management systems that are used to communicate with the police and law enforcement agencies. The Apps used can be hacked there-by generating false positive reports. The transport systems can be infected with ransomware thereby generating negative consequences.

Methodology: Survey questionnaire will be distributed to individuals in the sampled population area of Prairie View, Hempstead, Brenham, Waller, Pine Island, Hockley . Questions will include current challenges -driving forces – problems to be addressed for building smart cites. These will pertain to the following

1. Population – to include managing growth, aging population,

2. Resources – to include water shortage, managing energy,

3. Economy – to include economic slowing down,

4. Safety and security – to include content protection, and data privacy

5. Health and well-being – to include health monitoring system, health support system and accessibility

6. Communication to include internet connectivity, network speed, easy network setup.

An understanding of critical infrastructure requirements and risk management strategies are an important part of developing a smart approach to the implementation of this technology. Doing so is critical to overcoming urban security challenges. These six steps can provide a smart starting point: This study of digital media forensics is not just the art of finding deleted or hidden data within a smart city environment, but smart technology gives city agencies an opportunity to increase operational efficiency and improve the quality of life.. The study will present scientifically valid information to rectify any breach. Network and digital media forensics is a growing science that governmental agencies have long practiced, and smart cities in the rural areas especially, will benefit tremendously with the technology.

Tools for Investigation This study will use forensic and detection tools to analyze the methods of identifying and analyzing vulnerabilities of smart cities. These will include the smart cities procedures, resources, stand- alone computers, workstations, servers for network and online media. An Intrusion detection system [IDS], Wireshark, Nmap, Mataspoit, Nikto, Rekall, Volatility Memory Forensic, Memorize Fire Eye, Redline, DumpIT and FTK Imager.

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