Analysis and Mitigation of Recent Attacks on Mobile Communication Backend

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dc.contributor Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.contributor Aalto University en
dc.contributor.advisor Holtmanns, Silke
dc.contributor.advisor Oliver, Ian
dc.contributor.author Rao, Siddharth
dc.date.accessioned 2015-12-16T07:33:33Z
dc.date.available 2015-12-16T07:33:33Z
dc.date.issued 2015-08-24
dc.identifier.uri https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/19044
dc.description.abstract In the last quarter of 2014, several successful attacks against mobile networks were demonstrated. They are based on misuse of one of the key signaling protocol, SS7, which is extensively used in the mobile communication backend for signaling tasks such as call and mobility management. The attackers were able to locate the mobile users and intercept voice calls and text messages. While most attacks in the public eye are those which exploits weaknesses in the end-device software or radio access links, these recently demonstrated vulnerabilities exploit weaknesses of the mobile core networks themselves. Understandably, there is a scramble in the mobile telecommunications industry to understand the attacks and the underlying vulnerabilities. This thesis is part of that effort. This thesis presents a broad and thorough overview and analysis of the known attacks against mobile network signaling protocols and the possible mitigation strategies. The attacks are presented in a uniform way, in relation to the mobile network protocol standards and signaling scenarios. Moreover, this thesis also presents a new attack that enables a malicious party with access to the signaling network to remove lost or stolen phones from the blacklist that is intended to prevent their use. Both the known and new attacks have been confirmed by implementing them in a controlled test environment. The attacks are serious because SS7, despite its age, remains the main signaling protocol in the mobile networks and will still long be required for interoperability and background compatibility in international roaming. Moreover, the number of entities with access to the core network, and hence the number of potential attackers, has increased significantly because of changes in regulation and opening of the networks to competition. The analysis and new results of this thesis will help mobile network providers and operators to assess the vulnerabilities in their infrastructure and to make security-aware decisions regarding their future investments and standardization. The results will be presented to the operators, network-equipment vendors, and to the 3GPP standards body. en
dc.format.extent 95+9
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.title Analysis and Mitigation of Recent Attacks on Mobile Communication Backend en
dc.type G2 Pro gradu, diplomityö en
dc.contributor.school Perustieteiden korkeakoulu fi
dc.subject.keyword signaling protocols en
dc.subject.keyword SS7 en
dc.subject.keyword mobile core network en
dc.subject.keyword security en
dc.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:aalto-201512165562
dc.programme.major Security and Mobile Computing fi
dc.programme.mcode T3011 fi
dc.type.ontasot Master's thesis en
dc.type.ontasot Diplomityö fi
dc.contributor.supervisor Aura, Tuomas
dc.programme Master's Degree Programme in Security and Mobile Computing (NordSecMob) fi


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