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Conti, Mauro, Nati, Michele, Rotundo, Enrico, Spolaor, Riccardo.  2016.  Mind The Plug! Laptop-User Recognition Through Power Consumption. Proceedings of the 2Nd ACM International Workshop on IoT Privacy, Trust, and Security. :37–44.

The Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm, in conjunction with the one of smart cities, is pursuing toward the concept of smart buildings, i.e., “intelligent” buildings able to receive data from a network of sensors and thus to adapt the environment. IoT sensors can monitor a wide range of environmental features such as the energy consumption inside a building at fine-grained level (e.g., for a specific wall-socket). Some smart buildings already deploy energy monitoring in order to optimize the energy use for good purposes (e.g., to save money, to reduce pollution). Unfortunately, such measurements raise a significant amount of privacy concerns. In this paper, we investigate the feasibility of recognizing the pair laptop-user (i.e., a user using her own laptop) from the energy traces produced by her laptop. We design MTPlug, a framework that achieves this goal relying on supervised machine learning techniques as pattern recognition in multivariate time series. We present a comprehensive implementation of this system and run a thorough set of experiments. In particular, we collected data by monitoring the energy consumption of two groups of laptop users, some office employees and some intruders, for a total of 27 people. We show that our system is able to build an energy profile for a laptop user with accuracy above 80%, in less than 3.5 hours of laptop usage. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first research that assesses the feasibility of laptop users profiling relying uniquely on fine-grained energy traces collected using wall-socket smart meters.