Cyber Attacks on Smart Farming Infrastructure
October 15, 2020
Smart farming also known as precision agriculture is gaining more traction for its promising potential to fulfill increasing global food demand and supply. In a smart farm, technologies and connected devices are used in a variety of ways, from finding the real-time status of crops and soil moisture content to deploying drones to assist with tasks such as applying pesticide spray. However, the use of heterogeneous internet-connected devices has introduced numerous vulnerabilities within the smart farm ecosystem. Attackers can exploit these vulnerabilities to remotely control and disrupt data flowing from/to on-field sensors and autonomous vehicles like smart tractors and drones. This can cause devastating consequences especially during a high-risk time, such as harvesting, where live-monitoring is critical. In this paper, we demonstrate a Denial of Service (DoS) attack that can hinder the functionality of a smart farm by disrupting deployed on-field sensors. In particular, we discuss a Wi-Fi deauthentication attack that exploits IEEE 802.11 vulnerabilities, where the management frames are not encrypted. A MakerFocus ESP8266 Development Board WiFiDeauther Monster is used to detach the connected Raspberry Pi from the network and prevent sensor data from being sent to the remote cloud. Additionally, this attack was expanded to include the entire network, obstructing all devices from connecting to the network. To this end, we urge practitioners to be aware of current vulnerabilities when deploying smart farming ecosystems and encourage the cybersecurity community to further investigate the domain-specific characteristics of smart farming.
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