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Re: [GNUnet-developers] [LEDE-DEV] Project proposal: The GNUnet of auton

From: Hauke Mehrtens
Subject: Re: [GNUnet-developers] [LEDE-DEV] Project proposal: The GNUnet of autonomous Things
Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2016 13:30:37 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Icedove/45.4.0

Hi Daniel,

This sounds interesting.

I have some questions regarding phase 1.

1. Do you want to have an API to switch for example a smart plug on and
off and an other call to get the temperature from a temperature sensor?

2. Should this more focus on local IoT sensors line a temperature sensor
connected via I2C or more on remote sensors like a smart plug connected
via ZigBee?

3. What would be the difference to for example IoTvity, openHAB and
other existing solutions?

It would also be nice to have better 6LoWPAN integration in LEDE /
OpenWrt to make it easy to configure 6LoWPAN on top of ZigBee or BLE and
then route the IP traffic to the local network or the Internet like a
normal network interface in LEDE. This is probably unrelated to your


On 11/17/2016 12:39 PM, Daniel Golle wrote:
> Hi!
> I want to suggest a project to be (partially) funded by prpl's OpenWrt
> project grant.
> Abstract:
> Implement a secure autotonomous IoT hub using OpenWrt/LEDE's ubus
> service and the GNUnet P2P framework.
> Introduction:
> Despite the ongoing hype about the so-called Internet of Things, the
> current practise is rather chaotic and severe structural flaws of IoT
> devices became a common occurance, including easy-to-remote-exploit
> vulnerabilities and brain-dead mistakes such as a hard-coded DNS server
> address rendering thousands of IoT connected devices unusable now that
> the server is no longer being operated.
> Given the continous history of quite predictable security and
> privacy-related catastrophies in the still quite infantile IoT-sphere,
> taking a step back, a radical shift of praradigms, away from the
> patterns of Web/Cloud-based infrastrucure will help providing a much
> more secure and reliable user experience and thereby increase trust in
> future networked applications.
> Recent examples of typical problems related to the missing security
> model and centralized control servers:
> Or hard-coded server addresses:
> Or missing security by default:
> From a coders point of view, the lack of a vendor-neutral abstraction
> of low-bandwidth peripherals makes it hard to develop general purpose
> applications which do not depend on a specific hardware or middleware.
> This projects suggest a from bottom-to-top redesign addressing the
> diversity of components and local access methods (ranging from
> in-kernel-only drivers to almost pure userland implementations),
> connectivity (NAT traversal, discovery, ...) as well as security and
> privacy-related concerns. As a first measure, a generic integration of
> low-bandwidth peripherals such as simple sensors and actors using the
> OpenWrt/LEDE core infrastructure will provide a great improvement to
> access and manage local IoT features. This may then be used by
> various higher level applications, such as data-logging/monitoring,
> WebUI or machine-to-machine communication.
> As dependence on centralized services providing remote access has
> shown to be problematic in terms of security and privacy as well as
> reliability, direct connectivity or application-agnostic indirect
> routing using well-known P2P techniques can bring about more
> interoperatibility and sustainability. GNUnet provides (among with
> many other things) a modular toolkit for P2P, ranging from a
> NAT-aware multi-transport, cryptographically addressed general purpose
> overlay network to pub/sub, filesharing and real-time conversation
> services. In a second phase of the project, this core infrastructure
> is going to be used to provide secure, reliable and privacy-aware
> remote access to IoT features on typical OpenWrt/LEDE target hardware.
> Using GNUnet implies inheriting all the advantages of a secure P2P
> infrastructure which has seen  12 years of intense research and
> several iterations of architectural revolutions within that long time.
> Having a remote-access method for ubus which already provides it's
> own set tools to work in a wide range of environments (think: behind
> NAT, using low-level transports such as UDP, TCP, HTTP and proper
> HTTPS over IPv4/v6 as well as raw bluetooth and wifi injection sockets
> for local area coverage) and got it's own built-in security mechanisms
> as well as management structures (think: a distributed personal PKI)
> also seems to be a very good match, especially due to the modular
> nature of GNUnet which allows using only the parts needed on resource
> constraint hardware. Obviously this may be also very useful for any
> kind of remote-management or other sort of remote-access to ubus
> and/or rpcd.
> GNUnet is extremely portable, works on a great variety UNIX-like
> systems as well as Windows and can be compiled using LLVM, thus be
> turned into a in-browser JavaScript-monster using enscriptem, see
> for an early example of an in-browser version of
> GNUnet's anonymous filesharing service.
> In the past 2 years I ported to OpenWrt/LEDE, contributed fixes as well
> as features back upstream and became a member of the GNUnet e.V.
> association, mainly having applications like the above in mind. In a
> third phase, a set of services utilizing that infrastructure such as a
> plugin for collectd (data logging), a programmable monitor/alarm
> service polling properties and emmit events and action triggers listing
> for events and controlling actors is going to be built.
> Project schedule
> (I)
> As a first step towards better integration of typical IoT USE-cases
> into OpenWrt/LEDE, a ubus service allowing access to low-bandwidth
> peripherals shall be created. It's modular design shall allow for
> plugins providing access to various different APIs and low-level
> busses. Plugins may expose read and write access to datastructures
> and emmitt event notifications.
> The ubus API shall be sound and well-documented. Sample plugins
> including verbose comments utilizing and demonstrating that
> infrastructure shall be implemented.
> (II)
> Once sensors and actores are available via the local ubus instance,
> a ubus rpc proxy which operates as a GNUnet service shall be implemented
> to allow secure and privacy-aware pairing of OpenWrt/LEDE devices and
> remote access to ubus using GNUnet.
> (III)
> Several follow-up users of the now available infrastructure shall be
> created in the third phase of the project, including a plugin to
> the most commonly used data logging service (collectd) and a polling
> service emitting events if defined thresholds are reached.
> A simple generic controller, similar to OpenWrt/LEDE's hotplug scripts
> (jsonscript) shall be implemented to take actions upon events.
> Phase (I) is estimated to be about 2 to 3 months of full-time development
> time, phase (II) slightly less, phase (III) depends on the intended
> volume and estimated adoptation of the previously created infrastruture
> by the community and it's cost should thus be evaluated after phase (I)
> has been completed and was received by the community.
> The different phases may be funded by different parties. I consider
> phase (I) as being most relevant to prpl and it's members.
> Phase (I) deliverables
> ubus IoT service
> Methods:
>  - list
>  - list_plugins
>  - get {object} {property} [property, ...]
>  - set {object} {property} {value}
> Plugins:
>  - sensors (read, emmitting events)
>  - GPIO via sysfs (read, write)
> (- libmodbus (read, write))
> (- libi2c (read, write))
> (- libevdev (emitting events))
> (- ola/DMX512 (write))
> (- other IoT libraries like IoTivity? LinkIT?)
> (plugins in parentheses are optional and may be implemented at a later
> point in time imho, prpl and the OpenWrt/LEDE community may suggest
> different priorities)
> I'm looking forward to hear from you!
> Best regards
> Daniel

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