Research Output
TNN-IDS: Transformer neural network-based intrusion detection system for MQTT-enabled IoT Networks
  The Internet of Things (IoT) is a global network that connects a large number of smart devices. MQTT is a de facto standard, lightweight, and reliable protocol for machine-to-machine communication, widely adopted in IoT networks. Various smart devices within these networks are employed to handle sensitive information. However, the scale and openness of IoT networks make them highly vulnerable to security breaches and attacks, such as eavesdropping, weak authentication, and malicious payloads. Hence, there is a need for advanced machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL)-based intrusion detection systems (IDS). Existing ML-based IoT-IDSs face several limitations in effectively detecting malicious activities, mainly due to imbalanced training data. To address this, this study introduces a transformer neural network-based intrusion detection system (TNN-IDS) specifically designed for MQTT-enabled IoT networks. The proposed approach aims to enhance the detection of malicious activities within these networks. The TNN-IDS leverages the parallel processing capability of the Transformer Neural Network, which accelerates the learning process and results in improved detection of malicious attacks. To evaluate the performance of the proposed system, it was compared with various IDSs based on ML and DL approaches. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed TNN-IDS outperforms other systems in terms of detecting malicious activity. The TNN-IDS achieved optimum accuracies reaching 99.9% in detecting malicious activities.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    19 October 2023

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Elsevier BV

  • DOI:


  • ISSN:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Ullah, S., Ahmad, J., Khan, M. A., Alshehri, M. S., Boulila, W., Koubaa, A., …Iqbal Ch, M. M. (2023). TNN-IDS: Transformer neural network-based intrusion detection system for MQTT-enabled IoT Networks. Computer Networks, 237, Article 110072.



Intrusion detection, MQTT, Transformer neural network

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