Being Hacked : Understanding Victims' Experiences of IoT Hacking

Asreen Rostami, Minna Vigren, Shahid Raza, Barry Brown

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


From light bulbs to smart locks, IoT is increasingly embedded into our homes and lives. This opens up new vulnerabilities as IoT devices can be hacked and manipulated to cause harm or discomfort. In this paper we document users' experiences of having their IoT systems hacked through 210 self-reports from Reddit, device support forums, and Amazon review pages. These reports and the discussion around them show how uncertainty is at the heart of 'being hacked'. Hacks are sometimes difficult to detect, and users can mistake unusual IoT behaviour as evidence of a hack, yet this can still cause considerable emotional hurt and harm. In discussion, we shift from seeing hacks as technical system failings to be repaired, to seeing them as sites for care and user support. Such a shift in perspective opens a new front in designing for hacking - not just prevention but alleviating harm.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security, SOUPS 2022
PublisherUSENIX -The Advanced Computing Systems Association
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-939133-30-4
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventSymposium on Usable Privacy and Security - Boston, United States
Duration: 7 Aug 20229 Aug 2022
Conference number: 18


ConferenceSymposium on Usable Privacy and Security
Abbreviated titleSOUPS
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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