Our inspiration came from the app Fing, which will allow the user to see all the information of anyone who is connected to the same network, even if their device is hidden. We also know that it is very common for people to leech off of other's, like neighbors, instead of paying for their own. We decided that we could build an app that would let you monitor who's on your network and compare it to a compiled list of devices that have been cleared to be on the Alexa.
What it does
Theoretically, our app scans the network connected to the Alexa for any non-whitelisted devices and/or any attempted connections to the network. If there are any unauthorized connections, Alexa will ask the Admin user if they would like to add the device to the whitelist, or remove it from the network. If the device removed, Alex would then keep a watch for that IP or that MAC address attempting to connect in the future.
How we built it
Our original plan was to build it using Lambda and AWS but we did not have enough time to build a brand new app that complex from scratch for this weekend. We then got the idea to use IFTTT to link the Alexa to an already existing network scanning app, so that we could use that as an example feature of what we would like to do. However, IFTTT did not have any connections to any network scanning apps, so we went back to attempting to build a bridge between the Alexa app and the network scanner app, to no success.
Challenges we ran into
Only one of us was able to get an account with AWS earlier than the night before it was due, and none of us were very proficient with that nor Lambda. We also discovered that it is very difficult to connect the Alexa to a third party app that hasn't been recognized by Amazon. Our attempts to build a skeleton application for Alexa Network Interface were unsuccessful.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud that we found an applicable idea that we were able to build up into more, fleshing the idea out a bit more.
What we learned
We learned that connecting a third party application to the Alexa is a lot harder than it seems. We also learned that Alexa's security is pretty air tight against most current malware software.
What's next for Alexa Network Interface
Our team would like to build the app successfully, but we would like to embellish upon this idea a bit more. One thing that we would like to change is to have the Alexa constantly scanning the network for any attempted or unregistered connections instead of waiting for a command to scan from the user. We would like to build the app to look for any dangerous vulnerabilities within devices, and, if any are found, fix the device's vulnerability or disconnect it from the network to prevent it from harming other connected devices.