A Cost-efficient IoT Forensics Framework with Blockchain

Suat Mercan, Mumin Cebe, Ege Tekiner, Kemal Akkaya, Melissa Chang, Selcuk Uluagac

IoT devices have been adopted widely in the last decade which enabled collection of various data from different environments. The collected data is crucial in certain applications where IoT devices generate data for critical infrastructure or systems whose failure may result in catastrophic results. Specifically, for such critical applications, data storage poses challenges since the data may be compromised during the storage and the integrity might be violated without being noticed. In such cases, integrity and data provenance are required in order to be able to detect the source of any incident and prove it in legal cases if there is a dispute with the involved parties. To address these issues, blockchain provides excellent opportunities since it can protect the integrity of the data thanks to its distributed structure. However, it comes with certain costs as storing huge amount of data in a public blockchain will come with significant transaction fees. In this paper, we propose a highly cost effective and reliable digital forensics framework by exploiting multiple inexpensive blockchain networks as a temporary storage before the data is committed to Ethereum. To reduce Ethereum costs,we utilize Merkle trees which hierarchically stores hashes of the collected event data from IoT devices. We evaluated the approach on popular blockchains such as EOS, Stellar, and Ethereum by presenting a cost and security analysis. The results indicate that we can achieve significant cost savings without compromising the integrity of the data.

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