RETCON is a subproject of PETRAS2, which explores wide and creative methodologies to deliberately influence or disrupt the behaviour of (sociotechnical) systems involving IoT devices. This will generate a ‘red team’ methodology for the many ways in which IoT systems might be compromised: penetration testing with demonstrators, simulation systems, examining cheating in connected gamified environments (given the norms they rely on), and developing ‘imposter’ devices. AI techniques are relevant as not only can they be interfered with, but also used as part of attack—such as if they ‘pretend to be human’. In the latter respect, the RETCON project will work with secondary projects from the usability lens, such as the UncanAI project. Sociotechnical RETCON attacks will provide dual benefit to other projects, such as serving to test and improve the design patterns generated through the RIoTE project.


The PETRAS National Centre of Excellence exists to ensure that technological advances in the Internet of Things (IoT) are developed and applied in consumer and business contexts, safely and securely. We do this by considering social and technical issues relating to the cybersecurity of IoT devices, systems and networks.

  • PI: Max Van Kleek (Computer Science)
  • Co-I: Dave De Roure (Engineering)
  • Researchers: Petar Radanliev, Reuben Binns