IoT Security (Seminar, WS 2024/25)

Bachelor-level block seminar on recent research in IoT security. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a heavily discussed topic in both industry and scientific research. In its essence, the IoT describes a system architecture in which all components have Internet access and offer an unprecedented level of networking. This enables a wide range of new applications in previously non-digitalized areas. However, this innovative concept also presents a number of challenges, particularly in terms of security. In the past, systems were protected from external attacks, e.g., protected through physical separation. Now that systems are to be more modular and compatible with each other in the context of open architectures, security must also be guaranteed at component level. This is particularly challenging due to the technical and resources limitations prevalent in many IoT devices and networks. In this seminar, you will discuss recent attacks and vulnerabilities that threaten different IoT systems (especially in the industrial domain) and countermeasures that have been proposed by researchers to mitigate these threats.

Organizational Information

  • Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Martin Henze
  • Contact: henze (at) spice (dot) rwth-aachen (dot) de
  • 2 SWS (several deadlines spread throughout the whole semster; block presentations at the end of the semester, likely in March)
  • ECTS Credits: 4/5 (depending on examination regulations)
  • Study programs: Bachelor Computer Science, Bachelor Technical Communication, Bachelor Education Computer Science, Bachelor Mathematics, Bachelor Erasmus
  • Registration: During central registration process in June 2024. See our notes below on the selection process!
  • Language: English

Important Dates

The seminar will stretch the complete semester (not only the lecture period), with the kick-off planned for October and the presentations planned for March. There will be several deadlines spread throughout the semester. Optionally, you can shift most of the workload to the lecture period to reduce interference with any potential exams.

  • Kick-off Meeting: TBD (in October); participation is mandatory; details will be announced to the selected participants via email.
  • Deadlines for submission of papers, reviews and presentations (all hard deadlines) are spread over the semester and announced during the kick-off meeting.
  • Your presentations take place in a block seminar, most likely on one or two days at the end of the semester (probably in March, no fixed date(s) yet). Please take this into account when planning your semester and/or holidays.


The precise topics will be presented and distributed during the kick-off meeting based on priorities submitted by the students. All topics will center around the challenge of securing IoT networks and devices.

Seminar Details

Your contribution to the seminar is twofold: you present your topic concisely in a 20-minute oral presentation to the other seminar students and you supply a paper providing more detail than the talk on the topic. Furthermore, you are expected to engage in discussions about each talk. Plagiarism of any form is unacceptable and will lead to your immediate suspension from the seminar.

In production of the seminar paper, we follow a “conference organization style”. That means: After the assignment of topics during the kick-off meeting, you first do a literature survey and then prepare a scientific paper about the topic. You are submitting your paper in the same way as you would submit it for a conference: It will be reviewed and you will get back comments for improvement of your paper. The (anonymous) reviewing process will also be done by the seminar participants, i.e., you have to write a review about two or three other seminar papers (and you also get feedback from two or three other students). Based on the comments, you have to prepare the final version of your seminar paper and finally the presentation of your topic.


While the talk focuses on the overview and details of interest, the paper allows you to discuss your topic in its full breadth and depth. It covers all aspects of the talk and provides additional insights to related work and specific details. The papers are based on the official IEEE conference style and are expected to be between 6 (full) and 7 pages in length (hard limits, excluding references). You will be provided with the required LaTeX template (non-TeXed papers, e.g., Word, will not be accepted).


The goal of the talk is to give the audience a good understanding of the whole topic and to dive into a few interesting details of the subject matter. The ratio of one to the other depends on the topic and needs to be determined individually. Each talk is scheduled to be 20 minutes, followed by 5 to 10 minutes of interactive discussion.


There are no formal prerequisites for this seminar (besides those listed in your study regulations), apart from a certain scientific maturity. Depending on your preparation, some topics will be more accessible than others. Ideally, you will have some familiarity with computer networks, (network) security and/or cryptography, but this is not a must.

Selection Process

As seminar spots are in high-demand, please indicate clearly why you are interested in the seminar and how you and other students may benefit from your participation.