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In the first half of 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hosted a prize competition that challenged the public to create a technical solution, or tools, that consumers could use to guard against security vulnerabilities in software found on the Internet of Things (IoT) devices in their homes.

The Results

First Place $25,000

Steve Castle - IoT Watchdog

With the assistance of an expert panel of five judges, the FTC awarded top prize for a proposal for a mobile app-based tool aimed at helping users manage the IoT devices in their homes. It would allow users with limited technical expertise to scan their home Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networks to identify and inventory connected devices. It would flag devices with out-of-date software and other common vulnerabilities and provide instructions on how to update each device's software and fix other vulnerabilities.

The winning submission video is available here:

The accompanying abstract is available here.

Honorable Mention $3,000

Team of BJ Black and Michael Birmingham - PINC (Persistent Internal Network Containment)

The honorable mention submission video is available here:

The accompanying abstract is available here.

Note: The Federal Trade Commission does not endorse the views expressed in the videos and abstracts. The FTC takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over, the accuracy, copyright or trademark compliance, or legality of the material contained in these videos and abstracts.


Congratulations to the prize winners, and thanks to our judges, other contestants, and all who helped us with this contest. 

We look forward to seeing more developments in the marketplace to help safeguard consumers from known, and new, vulnerabilities.


For more information about the contest, check out the press release.