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Security Issues in 5G Network

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With recent immense popularity and growth of cellular technology, 5G network is being considered as a central domain for future communication architecture. But with the high rate of massive attacks and privacy issues, users and organizations are not very convinced with security parameters. In this paper, some of the very basic security concerns of 5G networks are being highlighted. Most of the information is based on literature review and reports published by prominent telecommunication giants. As a result, the paper can enlighten its readers on what is expected of 5G network and what are the basic issues in achieving those goals.
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International Conference on Computing and Mathematical Sciences - ICCMS'2017
February 25 - 26, 2017 Sukkur Institute of Business Administration - Sukkur IBA
Security Issues in 5G Network
Murtaza A.Siddiqi
Mohammad Khoso
Abdul Aziz
C.S Department
SZABIST
Larkana, Pakistan
murtazasiddiqi@lrk.szabist.edu.pk
C.S Department
SZABIST
Larkana, Pakistan
mohammad.khoso786@gmail.com
C.S Department
SZABIST
Larkana, Pakistan
azizmugheri2012@gmail.com
Abstract: With recent immense popularity and
growth of cellular technology, 5G network is being
considered as a central domain for future
communication architecture. But with the high rate of
massive attacks and privacy issues, users and
organizations are not very convinced with security
parameters. In this paper, some of the very basic security
concerns of 5G networks are being highlighted. Most of
the information is based on literature review and reports
published by prominent telecommunication giants. As a
result, the paper can enlighten its readers on what is
expected of 5G network and what are the basic issues in
achieving those goals.
KeywordsTelecommunication, 5G, Security, IoT.
I. INTRODUCTION
During the last few years mobile technology has
evolved at a rapid pace in multidirectional aspects. If
mobile phones are taken into consideration, these
started as dull devices with no such elegance.
Relatively heavy for a mobile device with a small
display screen and very limited processing power. At
the moment mobile phones are designed with
sophisticated shapes and sizes with high resolution
screens and processing power resembling a laptop. All
these mentioned features are driven by applications
which not only require cellular devices to perform
better and are bandwidth hungry and demand higher
data rate on mobile network. Cellular data traffic has
been predicted to raise more than 24-fold from 2010 to
2015, and additional 500 or more between years 2010
and 2020[1]. Ericsson mobility report 2015 predicts
that by 2020 Smart phone subscribers will be more
than double compared to what we have right now.
Mobile data traffic was 55% more in the first quarter
of 2015 then it was in first quarter of 2014 and by
(2020) 80% of the data traffic will be generated by
Smart phone [2].
As we excel in technology mobile applications
grow bandwidth hungry, demanding higher data rate
and security over cellular network. As 4G reaches its
limitation, researches are slowly turning towards 5G
which is considered to be the future of cellular
technology. Following table 1.1 gives a very clear idea
of how technology evolved through ages from 1G to
5G.
Table 1.1 Technology evolution during last few years [3] [4].
Technology
1G
3G
4G
5G
Deployment
1970-1980
2004-2010
Now
Soon
Data Bandwidth
2 kbps
2Mbps
1 Gbps
Higher than 1 Gbps
Key differentiator
Mobility
Better internet
experience,
applications
Faster broadband
internet, lower
latency
Faster internet, wide
range of
applications, IoT
Technologies
AMPS, NMT,
TACS
GSM/GPRS,
WCDMA/HSPA+,
CDMA2000/EV-DO,
TD-SCDMA
LTE, LTE
Advanced
Not standardized yet
Services
Voice
Cohesive high class
audio , video and data
Dynamic
information access,
wearable devices
Dynamic
information access,
wearable devices
with AI capabilities
Core network
PSTN
Packet N/W
Internet
Internet
Weakness
(addressed by
subsequent
generation)
Major security
concerns, Poor
spectral
efficiency,
Failure of WAP for
internet access, Real
performance failed to
match hype, Tied to
legacy
Mobile explicit
architecture and
protocols
May exist after
implementation.
(Current challenges
include security,
privacy,
infrastructure etc)
As the above table clearly indicates the huge
difference of data band width rates among different
generations is also an evidence that applications are
growing bandwidth hungry day by day. Apart from
bandwidth other important areas to focus are coverage,
user experience and the most important security.
International Conference on Computing and Mathematical Sciences - ICCMS'2017
February 25 - 26, 2017 Sukkur Institute of Business Administration - Sukkur IBA
Security and privacy is among the most concerning
area in today’s world of technology, good thing is that
in 4G technology proprieties are given to security and
reliability in communication [5].
II. CELLULAR NETWORK SECURITY CONCERNS
Cellular networks are always at a threat of
security compromises. Despite the advancement of
cellular network, there are number of ways by which
cellular communication (both voice and data) can
easily be compromised[6]. Some of the most common
techniques include interception on the leased lines or
simply eavesdropping, use of GPS to locate user and
invade user privacy [7], cell phone can be snatched and
can be used to impersonate identity, use of signal
jammers with man in the middle attack, user can
accidently download any malicious software [8],
based on IP regionally restricted contents can be
accessed by faking the original location of the user,
SIM based one-way authentication can be
compromised.
A. M- Commerce:
The exceptional growth in mobile communication
has brought incredible prospects for M-Commerce.
One of the main reason behind the success of cellular
communication is the ability to provide instant
communication and easy access to a huge market of
online applications and facilities anytime and
anywhere. Despite all the advancement, security
issues in mobile based applications and facilities are
very similar to that of web based applications. This is
due to the fact that same technologies and protocols
are being used on cellular network as well as on web
based applications [9].
B. IoT (Internet of things):
As we see the exponential growth in mobile
devices, it is being predicted by industry analysts that
by 2020 approximately 50 billion devices worldwide
will rely on mobile network [10]. These devices will
not only include handheld devices but will cover a
very wide range of devices. This exponential progress
of devices linked to the internet through mobile
network or other means is termed as IoT (Internet of
things). IoT will include traffic signals, embedded
systems, health care devices, house hold devices and
much more. Since a large number of devices will be
online, we can expect a large volume of traffic on 5G
networks. A prediction of such traffic can clearly be
seen in figure 1.
Imagine if such network is compromised and how
much catastrophe it could bring with it, not only for
the users but also for corporations and government
organizations.
Fig 1. Expected traffic volume near 2030 [11]
III. SECURITY ISSUES IN 5G
In 5G security will play a very important role
because it not only supports basic packet transmission
traffic but accommodates wide variety of applications.
Linking industries and crucial applications to the
internet; with 5G, it is anticipated that a new model of
communication facilities will emerge for the users and
industries [6].
A. Network Architecture and Infrastructure:
Network architecture and infrastructure is a very
important part of security implementation. To support
a wide range of applications with high end security
requirements, 5G needs a robust network architecture
so that it could support enhanced security features. For
5G two basic ideas for network infrastructure are
being considered; one is towards virtualization and
other follow a traditional approach of physical
alteration to the network access point. Advance
Technologies, like Network Functions Virtualization
(NFV)/Software Defined Network (SDN) and
virtualization are perceived as an approach to make 5G
networks more efficient. While keeping the
investments cost low. In traditional networks, security
of network elements (NEs) depends on how well their
physical units could be isolated from one another.
However, in 5G, the isolation will work in a very
different way as virtual NEs are on cloud-based
infrastructure.SDN is quite helpful in enhancing
transmission efficiency and resource utilization, but on
the other hand, it is important to keep in mind the 5G
security design. In a cloud based architecture, security
in term of isolation of nodes could be achieved by
enforcement of the SDN flow table[12].
If traditional infrastructure is taken in to
consideration, we must keep in mind that usually every
network access (BTS/Node B) has a different
structure. Some antennas at network access are high
International Conference on Computing and Mathematical Sciences - ICCMS'2017
February 25 - 26, 2017 Sukkur Institute of Business Administration - Sukkur IBA
powered, while some are low powered; most likely
each antenna would be integrated with its own
amplifier. Not to forget the requirements for different
level of Protection, Identified Management and Data
Protection based on services which are provided to the
end users. With the possible implementation of
Internet of things (IoT), there is a high probability that
attack such as DDOS are more frequent to occur.
Similar active attacks can also play a part in disturbing
the network with unauthorized access or no access to
network or its resources. So if 5G implies physical
isolation of nodes for its services, it would be a
nightmare in term of scalability, antenna correlations
and mutual coupling. Cost will be among the issues
that must be sorted out before deciding physical
network access point alterations [12][13].
B. Rigid authentication:
In the environment of vertical industry, security
requirements for different applications could differ
considerably among services. In case of Internet of
Things (IoT) devices, the requirement of lightweight
security with high-speed mobile services demands
high capable security method. The network based
default of usual hop-by-hop security method might not
be effective enough to form separated end-to-end
(E2E) security for different types of services. As IoT
is slowly being implemented and gaining popularity, a
need of an enhanced and rigid authentication method
is a necessity for IoT devices. In order to prevent
unauthorized access for example, biometric based
identification could be a very suitable authentication
method for smart phones [12].
C. Privacy Protection:
Due to wide range of applications a need to offer
differentiated QoS (Quality of service) is very
important. There should be some method or ability
within the networks which may need to sense the type
of service being used by the user, so that it could offer
better privacy. Due to recent major security and
privacy issues over cellular network, which include
mass surveillance and face network access points. The
standardization bodies for telecommunication such as
3GPP and IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), are
being questioned [2]. Over here we must not forget
that adding enhanced privacy methods makes
implementation of 5G a greater challenge[12].
D. Drivers:
The drivers for security purposes have continued
to offer a reliable simple connectivity service.
Telecom operators and wanders will eventually have
to uncover application programming interfaces (APIs)
to the users and third-party developers or service
providers to a certain level. For example, to fulfill the
purpose of enhanced delivery using position
awareness, caching and content adaptation. Such
facilities for optimizations might occasionally be
supported by third-party software parties on mutual
hardware platforms together with committed telecom
software [2].
E. Evolved Threat Landscape:
The scope or idea for 5G networks is that it
will work as a central infrastructure for
communication and number of other applications.
With this central architecture approach a major
concern comes from the users. In case the central
architecture is down due to disaster or any other
reason, it will effect a wide range of communication
and daily life of users and corporate. So, as a result 5G
needs well defined protocols which should be resilient
against different kind of attacks and disasters [2].
F. Energy efficiency aspects of 5G wireless systems:
The progress and evolution of wireless
technology has increased to a great deal in the past four
to five years. Latest technology that claims to be able
to fulfill the need as per 5G requirements is Massive
MIMO. The overall efficiency of Massive MIMO
technology over 4G technologies is achieved by
utilizing concepts such as; more antennas than
devices, it means even some of the devices will act as
a network access point (device to device and machine
to machine concept). To support larger bandwidth 30
to 300 GHz with 1 to 10 mm wavelength will be used
with small cells to enhance area spectral efficacy[14].
With the mentioned approach Massive MIMO can use
very simple multiplexing and encoding methods, so
that these methods can be implemented using very
simple hardware. Resulting in low resources
utilization, especially in terms of power [13].
G. Mobility:
Mobility is a challenge in short range cellular
networks. Mobility have additional issues to handle in
millimeter wave MIMO system as there is no surety
for locked precise beam forming on targets that are
mobile [13].
H. Heterogeneous Access:
As the demand for data and the number of online
devices increases rapidly as shown in figure 1, the
need for heterogeneous access becomes an integral
part for 5G network [15]. Heterogeneous environment
provides simultaneous access to diverse access
technologies [16]. However different access
technologies must strive to build an architecture
keeping in view 5G network security requirements
International Conference on Computing and Mathematical Sciences - ICCMS'2017
February 25 - 26, 2017 Sukkur Institute of Business Administration - Sukkur IBA
[12]. But the challenges associated with heterogeneous
network are still a concern. Such challenges include
inter-cell interference, scattered interference
coordination, ineffective medium access control,
discovery of devices and link setup [15].
CONCLUSION
As communication technology grows and
progresses towards the future, need for enhanced and
secure communication grows with it. Especially when
we consider 5G to be a central domain for almost all
kind of communication including IoT, which will soon
to be implemented throughout the globe. Although a
lot of research and efforts are being done to
standardize and create a secure framework for 5G [17],
but still there are grey areas in 5G technology. So the
need to improve 5G’s architecture and security is of
paramount importance. In this paper some of the very
basic concerns regarding 5G security are being
highlighted as well as some of the improved
technologies are being pointed out. In light of recent
denial of service attacks [18] resulting in major
internet outages have raised quite a few red flags
among research communities, corporate organizations
and government authorities [19].
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[3] M. R. S. Sapakal and M. S. S. Kadam, “5G Mobile
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[4] G. Intelligence, “Understanding 5G : Perspectives on
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[5] Feng Tian et al, “Application and Research of Mobile E-
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[6] K. Karthik ,Sobharani kuracha “SECURITY IN
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[7] J. E. Cheung, J.C.S., Beach, M.A.,& McGeehan,
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[8] N. Arcuri, “Technology Solutions for Combating Cellular
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[11] Nokia, 5G use cases and requirements. Nokia White
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[12] “5G Security: Forward Thinking Huawei White Paper.”
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[15] W. H. Chin, Z. Fan, and R. Haines, “Emerging
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[16] A. Ghosh, J. Andrews, R. Ratasuk, E. Ratasuk, B.
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[17] 5G PPP Architecture and Working Group, “View on 5G
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[18] A. N. Woolf, S. F. Wednesday, and E. D. T. The, “DDoS
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[19] Chris Myers, What the latest Global DDoS Attack means
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attack-means-for-entrepreneurs/#3d1298216483).
... The TS claims to have enhanced security features from the standards of 5G's predecessor. Two of the formal security methods this paper will discuss is TLS 1.3 messaging protocols, and entity authentication protocols [2]. ...
... Using machine learning algorithms and deep packet inspections would help identify the signatures of ToRPEDO attacks, therefore preventing the attack when its signature has been detected. The attack may be able to avoid this kind of countermeasure by broadening the time delays [2] [8] [9]. ...
Chapter
The 5G is all set to create a paradigm shift in the telecommunication network architecture by introducing a millimeter‐wave‐based customizable radio network and a redesigned cloud‐native core network to offer high‐speed, low‐latency mobile broadband anytime anywhere. The key enabling technologies of the 5G are massive MIMO, beamforming, Software‐Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), and Mobile Edge Computing (MEC). However, the network agility, connection to billions of smart things, and blind adoption of machine learning models and open‐source software in the networked systems bring in a unique set of security threats and privacy concerns to the network and its stakeholders. This article provides a comprehensive analysis of the evolving security threat landscape of 5G, recommended security measures, current state‐of‐the‐art solutions, and open research areas.
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  • M R S Sapakal
  • M S S Kadam
M. R. S. Sapakal and M. S. S. Kadam, "5G Mobile Technology," vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 568-571, 2013.
Understanding 5G : Perspectives on future technological advancements in mobile
  • G Intelligence
G. Intelligence, "Understanding 5G : Perspectives on future technological advancements in mobile," no. December, pp. 1-26, 2014.
Application and Research of Mobile E-Commerce security based on WPKI
  • Feng Tian
Feng Tian et al, "Application and Research of Mobile E-Commerce security based on WPKI," IEEE Int. Conf. Inf. Assur. Secur., 2009.
  • K Karthik
  • Sobharani Kuracha
K. Karthik,Sobharani kuracha "SECURITY IN WIRELESS CELLULAR," vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 190-197, 2015, IJAIEM.
Technology Solutions for Combating Cellular Fraud
  • N Arcuri
N. Arcuri, "Technology Solutions for Combating Cellular Fraud," IEEE Commun. Soc. New york Chapter,89th
Wireless and Mobile Security" Second Edition
  • Hakima Chaouchi
  • Maryline Laurent Maknavicius
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