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3GPP 5G Security



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3GPP 5G Security
Anand R. Prasad1, Sivabalan Arumugam2,
Sheeba B3and Alf Zugenmaier4
1Chairman of 3GPP SA3, NEC Corporation, Japan
2,3NEC Technologies India Pvt. Ltd., India
4Vice Chairman of 3GPP SA3 & Rapporteur, Munich University of
Applied Sciences, Germany
Received 30 March 2018;
Accepted 3 May 2018
5G is the next generation of mobile communication systems. As it is being
finalized, the specification is stable enough to allow giving an overview. This
paper presents the security aspects of the 5G system specified by the 3rd Gener-
ation Partnership Project (3GPP), especially highlighting the differences to the
4G (LTE) system. The most important 5G security enhancements are access
agnostic primary authentication with home control, security key establishment
and management, security for mobility, service based architecture security,
inter-network security, privacy and security for services provided over 5G
with secondary authentication.
Keywords: LTE, 5G, 5G Core, NR, Authentication, Services, Security,
1 Introduction
The 5G system is an evolution of the 4G mobile communication sys-
tem, i.e. System Architecture Evolution/Long Term Evolution (SAE/LTE).
Accordingly, the 5G security architecture has been designed to integrate
Journal of ICT, Vol. 6 1&2, 137–158. River Publishers
doi: 10.13052/jicts2245-800X.619
This is an Open Access publication. c
2018 the Author(s). All rights reserved.
138 S. Arumugam et al.
4G equivalent security into the 5G system. In addition, reassessment of
other security threats such as attacks on radio interfaces, signalling plane,
user plane, masquerading, privacy, replay, bidding down, man-in-the-middle,
service based interfaces (SBI), and inter-operator network security have led
to integration of further security mechanisms. This paper gives an overview
of the security in phase 1, also called release 15 in 3GPP, and highlights the
security features and security mechanisms offered by the 5G system, and the
security procedures performed within the 5G System including the 5G Core
(5GC) and the 5G new radio (NR), i.e. the 5G radio interface.
The paper starts by laying out the underlying trust models in 5G system
considering roaming and non-roaming cases in Section 2 along with a brief
summary on 5G key hierarchy. The enhancements in authentication and
privacy are dealt with in Section 3. Section 4 discusses the multiple regis-
tration scenarios of User Equipment (UE) considering different cases such as
same Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN) and different PLMN scenarios.
The mobility procedures and intra-/inter-network security are discussed in
Sections 5 and 6 respectively. The role of secondary authentication in services
security is briefed in Section 7. Section 8 discusses the security aspects of
network interconnects and Section 9 elaborates the migration and interworking
security. Finally the paper is concluded in Section 10.
2 Evolution of the Trust Model
In the new 5G system, trust within the network is considered as decreasing
the further one moves from the core. This has impact on decisions taken in 5G
security design thus we present the trust model in this section, at the beginning
fo the paper, together with the 5G key hierarchy.
2.1 Trust Model
The trust model in the user equipment (UE) is reasonably simple: there are two
trust domains, the tamper proof universal integrated circuit card (UICC) on
which the the Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM) resides as trust
anchor. Mobile Equipment (ME) and the USIM together form the UE.
The network side trust model for roaming and non-roaming cases are
shown in Figures 1 and 2 respectively, which shows the trust in mulitple
layers, like in an onion.
The Radio Access Network (RAN) is separated into distributed units (DU)
and central units (CU) – DU and CU together form gNB the 5G base-station.
3GPP 5G Security 139
Figure 1 Trust model of non-roaming scenario.
Figure 2 Trust model of roaming scenario.
The DU does not have any access to customer communications as it may
be deployed in unsupervised sites. The CU and Non-3GPP Inter Working
Function (N3IWF – not shown in the figures), which terminates the Access
Stratum (AS) security, will be deployed in sites with restricted access to
maintenance personnel.
In the core network the Access and Mobility Management Function
(AMF) serves as termination point for Non-Access Stratum (NAS) security.
Currently, i.e. in the 3GPP 5G Phase 1 specification [2], the AMF is col-
located with the SEcurity Anchor Function (SEAF) that holds the root key
140 S. Arumugam et al.
(known as anchor key) for the visited network. The security architecture is
defined in a future proof fashion, as it allows separation of the security anchor
from the mobility function in a future evolution of the system architecture.
In the roaming architecture, the home and the visited network are con-
nected through SEcurity Protection Proxy (SEPP) for the control plane of
the internetwork interconnect. This enhancement is done in 5G because of
the number of attacks coming to light recently such as key theft and re-
routing attacks in SS7 [16] and network node impersonation and source
address spoofing in signalling messages in DIAMETER [17] that exploited
the trusted nature of the internetwork interconnect [18]. Authentication Server
Function (AUSF) keeps a key for reuse, derived after authentication, in case of
simultaneous registration of a UE in different access network technologies, i.e.
3GPP access networks and non-3GPP access networks such as IEEE 802.11
Wireless LocalArea Network (WLAN). Authentication credential Repository
and Processing Function (ARPF) keeps the authentication credentials. This is
mirrored by the USIM on the side of the client, i.e. the UE side. The subscriber
information is stored in the Unified Data Repository (UDR). The Unified
Data Management (UDM) uses the subscription data stored in UDR and
implements the application logic to perform various functionalities such as
authentication credential generation, user identification, service and session
continuity etc. Over the air interface, both active and passive attacks are
considered on both control plane and user plane. Privacy has become increas-
ingly important leading to permanent identifiers being kept secret over the
air interface.
2.2 Key Hierarchy
The long term secret key (K) provisioned in the USIM and the 5G core network
acts as the primary source of security context in the same way as in of an 4G
system. Different to LTE, in 5G there are 2 types of authentication, primary
authentication that all devices have to perform for accesing the mobile network
services, and secondary authentication to an external data network (DN), if so
desired by the external data network.
After a successful primary authentication between the UE and the network,
the serving network specific anchor key (KSEAF) is derived from K. From the
anchor key, confidentiality and integrity protection keys are derived for NAS
signalling and the AS consisting of control plane (CP), ie. radio resource
control (RRC) messages, and user plane (UP). The key hierarchy of 5G is
shown in Figure 3. The key hierarchy includes K, Cipher Key (CK) and
3GPP 5G Security 141
Figure 3 Key hierarchy.
Integrity Key (IK), KAUSF,K
UPint and KUPenc.
The KAUSF is derived by ME and ARPF from CK and IK during 5G
Authentication and Key Agreement (AKA). If the 3GPP credential K is used
for authentication over a radio access technology supporting the extensible
authentication protocol EAP, KAUSF is derived by ME and AUSF according
to the EAP AKA’ specification. From KAUSF, the AUSF and ME derive the
anchor key KSEAF that is then used to derive the KAMF by ME and SEAF.
The K’AMF is a key that can be derived by ME and AMF from previous KAMF
when the UE moves from one AMF to another during inter-AMF mobility.
142 S. Arumugam et al.
The integrity and confidentiality keys, KNASint and KNASenc respectively, are
derived by ME and AMF from KAMF for the NAS signalling protection. The
KgNB is derived by ME and AMF from KAMF. The KgNB is also derived
by ME and source gNB using a intermediary key, KgNB*, during mobility
that can lead to, what is known as, horizontal or vertical key derivation. The
integrity and confidentiality keys for AS, i.e. UP (KUPint and KUPenc) and
RRC (KRRCint and KRRCenc), are derived by ME and gNB from KgNB.UP
integrity protection is another enhancement in 5G that is valuable for the
expected Internet of Things (IoT) services. The intermediate key NH is derived
by ME and AMF to provide forward secrecy during handover.
3 Access and Authentication
Network access in 5G network supports privacy of the permanent identifier
to attackers on the air interface. This was not available in past generations of
mobile neworks. In this section we discuss privacy in 5G and authentication.
We do not discuss Security Mode Command (SMC) for AS and NAS.
3.1 Overview
Access to the network requires subscriber authentication, which is done by
primary authentication mechanism in 5G system. So that the network can
identify the subscriber, the UE has to send the subscription permanent identifier
(SUPI in 5G). This permanent subscription identifier was sent in clear until
4G leading to various privacy related attacks.
In 5G privacy is achieved, even before authentication and key agreement,
by encrypting the SUPI before transmitting using a HN public key which
is stored in the USIM. Although specified, privacy enablement is under the
control of the home network of the subscriber. Privacy in 5G is elaborated
in Section 3.2. Up to 4G, the home network had to trust the visited network
through which the authentication took place. Subsequent procedures such as
location updates or submission of Customer Data Records (CDRs) would need
to be taken at face value. This lead to fraud cases impacting operator’s revenue.
Another case is the fraudulent registration attempt by an attacker to register
the subscriber’s serving AMF in UDM when UE is not present in the serving
AMF. To resolve these issues, in 5G the concept of increased home control
was introduced, where the home network receives proof of UE participation
in a successful authentication.
3GPP 5G Security 143
Figure 4 SUPI structure and concealed sensitive information.
3.2 Privacy
The subscription identifier SUPI, see Figure 4, contains sensitive subscriber
as well as subscription information thus it should not be transferred in clear
text except for parts necessary for proper functioning of the system, i.e.
routing information in the form of Mobile Country Code (MCC) and Mobile
Network Code (MNC). As explained in 3.1, the subscriber privacy enablement
is under the control of the home network of the subscriber. Note that in case of
unauthenticated emergency calls, privacy protection is not required. So as to
provide privacy the UE generates and transmits the Subscription Concealed
Identifier (SUCI1) using a protection scheme, i.e. one of the Elliptic Curve
Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) profiles, with the public key that was
securely provisioned in control of the home network.
The UE constructs the SUCI from the protection scheme identifier, the
home network public key identifier, the home network identifier and the
protection scheme-output that represents the output of a public key protection
scheme. The SUCI will contain routing information in the clear, which is
the mobile network and mobile country code of the home network, as well
as potentially some routing information within the home network, where the
home network is so large that it needs to be segmented. At the home network
de-conealment of the SUPI from SUCI is done by the Subscription Identifier
De-concealing Function (SIDF) that is located at the ARPF/UDM. To meet
the LI requirements along with privacy, binding of SUPI to the derivation of
the KAMF is done.
1SUCI is pronounced sushi.
144 S. Arumugam et al.
3.3 Authentication Procedure In 5G System
EAP-AKA’ and 5G AKA are mandatory 5G primary authentication methods.
Other EAP based authentication methods can be used optionally as well.
For the purpose of explanation we have divided the authentication steps in
two phases, see Figure 5. Phase 1 is initiation of 5G authentication and
authentication method selection. Phase 2 is mutual authentication between
the UE, subscription, and the network.
During phase 1, the UE sends a registration request (N1 message) to
the SEAF that contains a concealed identifier SUCI or 5G-Globally Unique
Temporary UE Identity (5G-GUTI) where, as the name suggests, 5G-GUTI
Figure 5 Message exchanges involved in 5G authentication procedure.
3GPP 5G Security 145
is a temporary identity assigned by the network during a previous ses-
sion. On receiving a registration request from the UE the SEAF sends
an authentication request (Nausf UEAuthentication Authenticate Request)
message to the AUSF with the serving network name (SNN) [2] and
either SUPI, if available and 5G-GUTI is valid, or SUCI. The SNN is a
concatenation of service code and the Serving Network Identity (SN Id).
Upon receiving the authentication request, the AUSF checks whether the
requesting SEAF is authorized to use the SNN which is a form of home
control in 5G. If the serving network is not authorized to use the SNN, the
AUSF respond with “serving network not authorized” in the authentication
response (Nausf UEAuthentication Authenticate Response). The authenti-
cation information request (Nudm UEAuthentication Get Request) from
AUSF to UDM/ARPF/SIDF includes the SUCI or SUPI and the SNN.
SIDF is invoked to de-conceal the SUPI from SUCI. Based on SUPI and
the subscription data, the UDM/ARPF choose the authentication method
to be used.
In phase 2, on selection of authentication methods, mutual authentication
takes place. The authentication procedure involved in 5G, see Figure 5, is
briefly explained in the following steps for both EAP-AKA’ and 5G AKA.
Authentication Vector (AV) generation:
EAP-AKA’: The authentication procedure is followed as discussed in
RFC 5448 [9] except the authentication vector (AV) derivation at the
UDM/ARPF. The UDM/ARPF first generates an AV with AMF separa-
tion bit = 1 [8] and generates CK’ and IK’ from CK, IK and SNN. The
UDM/ARPF subsequently sends this transformed AV (RAND, AUTN,
XRES, CK’, IK’) to the AUSF with an indication that the AV is to be
used for EAP-AKA’.
5G AKA: The UDM/ARPF derives the KAUSF from CK, IK and SNN
and generates the 5G Home Environment AV (5G HE AV) where the 5G
HE AV contains the RAND, AUTN, XRES*, and KAUSF.5GHEAVis
sent to the AUSF in the authentication information Request Response
(Auth-info Resp) message. The AUSF stores the KAUSF and XRES*
until expiry.
The AUSF derives the KSEAF (anchor key) from KAUSF and sends
the Challenge message to the SEAF in a Nausf UEAuthentication
Authenticate Response message with KSEAF, AUTN and RAND. In case
of 5G AKA HXRES* is also sent.
146 S. Arumugam et al.
At receipt of the RAND and AUTN, the USIM computes a response
RES and returns RES, CK, IK to the UE. In case of 5G AKA addi-
tionally the ME compute RES* from RES. The UE then sends the
Challenge Response message to the SEAF in a NAS message Auth-Resp
The SEAF forwards the Response Challenge message to the AUSF
in Nausf UEAuthentication Authenticate Request message. In case of
5G AKA the SEAF computes HRES* from RES*, and compares
HRES* with HXRES*. If the values are same, the SEAF considers
the authentication as successful and sends the received RES*, in a
Nausf UEAuthentication Authenticate Request message containing the
SUPI or SUCI and the SNN, to the AUSF.
The AUSF verifies the message to support increased home con-
trol and if the verification is successfull, the AUSF acts accord-
ing to the authentication method as explained below. Note that
if the AUSF received SUCI from the SEAF, then the AUSF
also includes the SUPI in 5G-Authentication Confirmation Answer
EAP-AKA’: The AUSF and UDM in the home network obtains
confirmation that the UE has been successfully authenticated when
the EAP-Response/AKA’-Challenge received by the AUSF has been
successfully verified. The AUSF derives EMSK from CK’ and IK’
as described in RFC 5448. The AUSF then uses the first 256 bits
of EMSK as the KAUSF and derives the anchor key KSEAF from
KAUSF. The AUSF sends EAP Success message to the SEAF inside
Nausf UEAuthentication Authenticate Response along with the KSEAF.
5G AKA: The AUSF compares the received RES* with the stored
XRES* and if they are equal, the AUSF considers the confirmation
message as successfully verified and indicates this to the SEAF. The
AUSF and UDM in the home network obtains confirmation that the UE
has been successfully authenticated.
The SEAF sends the Success message to the UE in the N1 message.
The SEAF then derives the KAMF from the KSEAF and the SUPI and
send it to the AMF. On receiving the Success message, the UE derives
KAUSF and KSEAF in the same way as the AUSF and derives the KAMF
from the KSEAF and the SUPI. The SEAF provide the ngKSI and the
KAMF to the AMF.
3GPP 5G Security 147
4 Multiple Registrations
There are two cases as shown in Figure 6 where the UE can be registered
in both a network accessed through 5G NR and simultaneously in network
accessed through a non-3GPP radio access technology like WLAN. This can
be in the same PLMN or in the different PLMN’s serving networks. The UE
will establish two NAS connections with the network in both cases. This is
called multiple registration
The first case is where the UE is registered with the same AMF in the
same PLMN serving network over both 3GPP and non-3GPP accesses. A
common NAS security context is created during the registration procedure
over the first access type. In order to realize cryptographic separation and
replay protection, the common NAS security-context will have parameters
specific to each NAS connection. The connection specific parameters include
a pair of NAS COUNTs for uplink and downlink and unique NAS connection
identifier. The value of the unique NAS connection identifier is set to “0” for
3GPP access and set to “1” for non-3GPP access. The second case is when
the UE is registered in one PLMN over a certain type of access (e.g. 3GPP)
and is registered to another PLMN over the other type of access (e.g. non-
3GPP). The UE independently maintains and uses two different 5G security
contexts, one per PLMN. Each security context is established separately via
a successful primary authentication procedure with the Home PLMN. All the
NAS and AS security mechanisms defined for single registration mode are
applicable independently on each access using the corresponding 5G security
Figure 6 5G supporting multiple NAS connections.
148 S. Arumugam et al.
5 Mobility
Depending on an operator’s security requirements, the operator can decide
whether to have Xn or N2 handovers for a particular gNB according to the
security characteristics of a particular gNB. Where Xn handover is handover
over Xn interface without involvement of AMF and N2 handover involves the
AMF. The 5G mobility scenarios are depicted in Figure 7 is briefed as follows.
Xn-handover: The handover of UE from a source gNB to a target gNB
over Xn is referred to as Xn-handover. The source gNB includes the UE 5G
security capabilities in the handover request message containing the ciphering
and integrity algorithms used in the source cell. The target gNB selects the
algorithm with highest priority from the received 5G security capabilities
of the UE according to the prioritized locally configured list of algorithms.
The chosen algorithms are indicated to the UE in the Handover Command
message if the target gNB selects different algorithms. If the UE does not
receive any selection of integrity and ciphering algorithms, it continues to
use the same algorithms as before the handover [2, 4]. In the Path-Switch
message, the target gNB sends the UE’s 5G security capabilities received
from the source gNB to the AMF. The AMF will verify that the UE’s 5G
security capabilities received from the target gNB are the same as the UE’s 5G
security capabilities that the AMF has locally stored. If there is a mismatch,
the AMF will send its locally stored 5G security capabilities of the UE to
Figure 7 Oveview of 5G mobility scenario.
3GPP 5G Security 149
the target gNB in the Path-Switch Acknowledge message. Additionally, the
AMF may log the event and may take additional measures, such as raising
an alarm.
N2-handover: The handover from a source gNB to a target gNB over N2
interface possibly including an AMF change is referred to as N2-handover
or inter-AMF handover. For N2-handover, the source gNB includes AS
algorithms used in the source cell in the source to target transparent con-
tainer that is sent to the target gNB. The AS algorithms used in the source
cell are provided to the target gNB so that it can decipher and integrity
verify the RRCConnectionReestablishmentComplete message on Signalling
Radio Bearer 1 (SRB1) in the potential RRC Connection Re-establishment
procedure. The AMF should not initiate any of the N2 procedures includ-
ing a new key towards a UE if a NAS Security Mode Command (SMC)
procedure is ongoing with the UE. The AMF will not initiate a NAS SMC
towards a UE if one of the N2 procedures including a new key is ongoing
with the UE.
Intra-gNB-CU handover: This type of handover occurs in gNBs with split
DU-CU, where the UE performs handover between DUs within a gNB-CU.
It is not required to change the AS security algorithms during intra-gNB-
CU handover as the security termination point remains the same. If the UE
does not receive an indication of new AS security algorithms during an
intra-gNB-CU handover, the UE can continue to use the same algorithms
as before.
6 DU-CU Interface Security
The F1 interface [5, 6] between DU and CU could also be protected by
NDS/IP [11, 12]. Messaging over F1 interface include control-plane (F1-C),
management traffic and user-plane (F1-U). The security requirements for the
F1 interface includes support of confidentiality, integrity and replay protection.
It is expected that F1-U security is independent of F1-C or management traffic
security, i.e. one could configure F1-U security differently than F1-U and
management traffic security.
7 Services Security – Secondary Authentication
5G supports optional EAP based secondary authentication between the UE
and an external data network (DN). Session Management Function (SMF)
150 S. Arumugam et al.
performs the role of the EAP Authenticator [14] and relies on an external
DN-AAA server to authenticate and authorize the UE’s request for the
establishment of a PDU sessions. See Figure 8 for secondary authentication
procedure with the external DN-AAA server.
As a pre-condition the UE is registered with the network performing
primary authentication with the AUSF/ARPF and establishes a NAS security
context with the AMF. The UE initiates establishment of a new PDU Session
by sending an SM NAS message containing a PDU Session Establishment
Request message to the AMF. The UE includes slice information (identi-
fied by S-NSSAI) and the PDN it would like to connect to (identified by
DNN). The AMF sends the request to the SMF for PDU session establish-
ment (Nsmf PDUSession CreateSMContext Request message) with SM NAS
message, SUPI, the received S-NSSAI, and the DNN. The SMF sends an
Nsmf PDUSession CreateSMContext Response message to the AMF. The
SMF then obtains subscription data from the UDM for the given SUPI and
Figure 8 Secondary authentication.
3GPP 5G Security 151
verifies whether the UE request is compliant with the user subscription and
with local policies. The SMF may also verify whether the UE has been
authenticated and/or authorized by the same DN, as indicated DNN, or the
same AAAserver in a previous PDU session establishment. The SMF can skip
the rest of the procedure if the verification is successful.
If the SMF finds that the UE has not been authenticated with the
external DN-AAA server, then the SMF will trigger EAP Authentication
to obtain authorization from an external DN-AAA server and sends an
EAP Request/Identity message to the UE. The UE then send an EAP
Response/Identity message with its DN-specific identity complying with
Network Access Identifier (NAI) format. The DN AAA server and the UE
can exchange EAP messages as required by the EAP method. EAP messages
are sent in the SM NAS message between the UE and the SMF; The
SMF communicates with the external DN-AAA via UPF using N4 and N6
interface [2]. After the completion of the authentication procedure, DN AAA
server will send EAP Success message to the SMF. The SMF may save the
UE ID and DNN (or DN’s AAA server ID if available) in a list for successful
authentication/authorization between the UE and SMF. Alternatively, the SMF
may update the list in UDM. If the authorization is successful, PDU Session
Establishment proceeds according to TS 23.502 [10].
In case of roaming scenario, two SMFs such as visitor SMF (V-SMF) and
home SMF (H-SMF) are involved, where H-SMF acts as the authenticator.
Following the PDU Session Establishment Request message from the UE
via AMF as discussed above, the V-SMF sends an Nsmf PDUSession Create
Request to the H-SMF. To establish the requested PDU session after
a successful EAP based secondary authentication, the H-SMF sends an
Nsmf PDUSession Create Response to V-SMF with EAP Success and this
message is inturn sent to the UE by the V-SMF.
8 Inter Operator Network Security
N32 interface provides inter operator network connectivity (see Figure 9)
that might traverse over Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX). To ensure
interconnect security, the SEPP is introduced as an entity that resides at
the perimeter of the PLMN. The SEPP implements application layer secu-
rity for all the service layer information exchanged between two Network
Functions (NFs) across two different PLMNs. On receiving service layer
messages from a given NF, the SEPP protects the messages before sending
them over the N32 interface. Similarly, on receiving a message over N32
152 S. Arumugam et al.
Figure 9 Interconnect security and SEPP.
interface the SEPP forwards the message to approproiate NF after security
verification. The SEPP provides integrity protection, confidentiality protection
of parts of message and replay protection. Mutual authentication, autho-
rization, negotiation of cipher suites and key management are also parts
of SEPP security functions. It also performs topology hiding and spoofing
9 Interworking Security
Since ubiquitous coverage of 5G will not be available from day-one, it is
essential to provide 4G to 5G interworking solutions that give a migration
path to stand-alone 5G network. There are two cases of interworking we
discuss in this Section 1 Non-Stand Alone (NSA) case, this is discussed in
detail here and 2 case where 5G stand-alone and 4G networks are connected
to each other and UE moves between the networks, this case is briefly
Several interworking scenarios are defined for 5G [7, 15]. These sce-
narios are also know as dual-connectivity since the UE connects with
both NR and LTE. The starting step defined by 3GPP is NSA as depicted
in Figure 10, this is also known as Option 3 or E-UTRA-NR Dual Connectivity
(EN-DC), where both LTE (E-UTRA) and NR connects to the 4G core net-
work. In case of NSA the UE and the Master eNB (MeNB) establish the RRC
connection. The MeNB computes and delivers the KSgNB to the Secondary
gNB (SgNB) along with the UE NR security capabilities in the SgNB addition
request message. The UE also derives the same KSgNB. The MeNB checks
whether the UE has 5G NR capabilities and access rights to SgNB. The
SgNB selects the algorithm and notifies to the MeNB in SgNB addition
3GPP 5G Security 153
Figure 10 EN-DC procedure with SgNB encryption/decryption and integrity protection
request acknowledgement message. The MeNB sends the RRC Connection
Reconfiguration Request with SCG Counter parameter to the UE instructing it
to configure the new DRBs and/or SRB for the SgNB and compute the S-KgNB.
The UE computes the S-KgNB and sends the RRC Reconfiguration Complete
to the MeNB activating encryption/decryption and integrity protection. The
MeNB then sends SgNB Reconfiguration Complete to the SgNB over the X2-
C to inform the configuration result and following this, the SgNB can activate
the chosen encryption/decryption and integrity protection with UE. Unlike
dual connectivity in 4G network, RRC messages are exchanged between UE
and SgNB, thus keys such as KSgNBRRCint as well as KSgNBUPenc used
for integrity and confidentiality protection of RRC messages as well as UP
are derived. Integrity protection for UP will not be used in EN-DC case. Use
of confidentiality protection is optional for both UP and CP.
Security solution for mobility between 4G and 5G networks is similar to
that specified for 4G [1, 19]. There are various situations such as state of device
and security contexts available. Handover will happen between 4G and 5G
incase UE is in active state. Identity, be it SUCI or temporary identity, and key
identity of security context will be used to locate the security context in the
network and derive a mapped security context (KAMF to KASME for 5G to 4G
or vice versa) for secure service continuity. For idle mode mobility mapped
154 S. Arumugam et al.
context could be used else existing context, if existing, will be activated.
Mapped context is basically derivation of say 4G key from 5G.
10 Near Future
NSA and 5G Phase-1 gives us a taste of the new generation with mobile broad-
band. The next step will be solutions for IoT covering several scenarios in the
form of massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC) and Ultra-Reliable
and Low Latency Communications (URLLC). Where mMTC relates to very
large number of devices transmitting a relatively low volume of non-delay-
sensitive data and URLLC relates to services with stringent requirements for
capabilities such as throughput, latency and availability.
For (mMTC) very low data-rates, going down to few bits per day, we will
have to consider the extent of security (be it authentication, confidentiality,
integrity or otherwise) that can be provisioned. Several IoT or Machine-to-
Machine (M2M) services and devices fall under this category, examples are
temperature sensors giving hourly updates, sensors on farm animals giving
vital signature couple of times a day etc. Such devices will also be resource
constrained in terms of battery, computation and memory. This brings us
to several requirements on security like complete security related message
sequence, e.g. authentication, should not run for every communication and
even when run, they should be performed with minimum payload and round-
trip. Other requirement will be to reduce security related bits, e.g. integrity, for
every communication. Security and cryptographic algorithms must be energy
efficient and optimized to work for resource constrained devices.
On the other end (URLLC) are high data-rate devices with potentially
higher battery and computational resources; examples include cars, Industrial
IoT (IIoT) devices like machineries in factories and virtual or augmented
reality (VR or AR) devices used for gaming or real-time services. Provisioning
of higher data rates also means that complexity of security functions should
be considered to avoid processing delay. At the same time, higher data rates
are provisioned by decreasing the overhead bits in radio interface that in turn
has implications on bits that can be budgeted for security.
11 Conclusion
Overview of 5G Phase-1 security requirements and solutions is presented
in this paper. Major differences from 4G security are the trust model, key
hierarchy, security for inter-operator network, privacy and service based
3GPP 5G Security 155
architecture security. Current specification supports security for 4G to 5G
migration and interworking with 4G. The 5G phase 2 specifications will
provide enhanced security for scenarios covered by mMTC and URLLC.
[1] 3GPP TS 33.401, “Technical Specification Group Services and
System Aspects: 3GPP System Architecture Evolution (SAE) Security
architecture”, Release 15, v 15.3.0, March 2018.
[2] 3GPP TS 33.501, “Security architecture and procedures for 5G system”,
Release 15, v 15.0.0, March 2018.
[3] 3GPP TS 24.501, “Non-Access-Stratum (NAS) protocol for 5G System
(5GS)”, Release 15, v 1.0.0, March 2018.
[4] 3GPP TS 38.331, “NR-Radio Resource Control (RRC) protocol specifi-
cation”, Release 15, v 15.0.0, March 2018.
[5] 3GPP TS 38.470, “NG-RAN: F1 general aspects and principles”, Release
15, v 15.0.0, March 2018.
[6] 3GPP TS 38.472, “NG-RAN: F1 signalling transport”, Release 15,
v 15.0.0, December 2017.
[7] 3GPP TS 36.300, “Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access
(E-UTRA) and Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network
(E-UTRAN) - Overall description”, Release 15, v 15.0.0, March 2018.
[8] 3GPP TS 33.102, “3G Security - Security architecture”, Release 14,
v 14.1.0, March 2017.
[9] RFC 5448, “Improved Extensible Authentication Protocol Method for
3rd Generation Authentication and Key Agreement (EAP-AKA’)”,
Nokia, May 2009.
[10] 3GPP TS 23.502, “Procedures for the 5G System”, Release 15, v 15.1.0,
March 2018.
[11] 3GPP TS 33.210, “3G security; Network Domain Security (NDS);
IP network layer security”, Release 14, v 14.0.0, December 2016.
[12] RFC-7296, “Internet Key Exchange Protocol Version 2 (IKEv2)”.
[13] RFC-7321: “Cryptographic Algorithm Implementation Requirements
and Usage Guidance for Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) and
Authentication Header (AH)”.
[14] RFC-3748: “Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP)”.
[15] NEC White paper, “Making 5G a Reality”, 2018,
en/global/solutions/nsp/5g vision/doc/wp2018ar.pdf.
156 S. Arumugam et al.
[16] Tobias Engel. (December 2014). “SS7: Locate. Track. Manipulate”,
[17] GSMA RIFS: “Diameter Roaming Security – Proposed Permanent
Reference Document”.
[18] 3GPP TS 33.899, “Study on the security aspects of the next generation
system”, Release 14, v 1.3.0, August 2017.
[19] Anand R. Prasad and Seung-Woo Seo, Security in Next Genera-
tion Mobile Networks: SAE/LTE and WiMAX, River Publishers,
September 2011.
Anand R. Prasad, Dr. & ir., Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands,
is Chief Advanced Technologist, Executive Specialist, at NEC Corporation,
Japan, where he leads the mobile communications security activity. Anand is
the chairman of 3GPP SA3 (mobile communications security standardization
group), a member of the governing body of Global ICT Standardisation Forum
for India (GISFI), founder chairman of the Security & Privacy working group
and a governing council member of Telecom Standards Development Society,
India. He was chairman of the Green ICT working group of GISFI. Before
joining NEC, Anand led the network security team in DoCoMo Euro-Labs,
Munich, Germany, as a manager. He started his career at Uniden Corporation,
Tokyo, Japan, as a researcher developing embedded solutions, such as medium
access control (MAC) and automatic repeat request (ARQ) schemes for wire-
less local area network (WLAN) product, and as project leader of the software
modem team. Subsequently, he was a systems architect (as distinguished
member of technical staff) for IEEE 802.11 based WLANs (WaveLAN and
ORiNOCO) in Lucent Technologies, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands, during
which period he was also a voting member of IEEE 802.11. After Lucent,
Anand joined Genista Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, as a technical director
with focus on perceptual QoS. Anand has provided business and technical
consultancy to start-ups, started an offshore development center based on
3GPP 5G Security 157
his concept of cost effective outsourcing models and is involved in business
Anand has applied for over 50 patents, has published 6 books and authored
over 50 peer reviewed papers in international journals and conferences. His
latest book is on “Security in Next Generation Mobile Networks: SAE/LTE
and WiMAX”, published by River Publishers, August 2011. He is a series
editor for standardization book series and editor-in-chief of the Journal of
ICT Standardisation published by River Publishers, an Associate Editor of
IEEK (Institute of Electronics Engineers of Korea) Transactions on Smart
Processing & Computing (SPC), advisor to Journal of Cyber Security and
Mobility, and chair/committee member of several international activities.
He is a recipient of the 2014 ITU-AJ “Encouragement Award: ICT
Accomplishment Field” and the 2012 (ISC)2 Asia Pacific Information Security
Leadership Achievements (ISLA) Award as a Senior Information Security
Professional. Anand is Certified Information Systems Security Professional
(CISSP), Fellow IETE and Senior Member IEEE and a NEC Certified
Professional (NCP).
Sivabalan Arumugam received Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from Indian
Institute of Technology Kanpur, India in 2008 and M.Tech degree from
Pondicherry University, India, in 2000. He has 14 years of experience in
Academic teaching and Research. Presently he works as Assistant General
Manager for Research at NEC Mobile Network Excellence Center (NMEC),
NEC Technologies India Pvt Ltd, Chennai. Prior joining NECI he was
associated with ABB Global Services and Industries Limited, Bangalore
as Associate Scientist. He has published more than 25 papers in various
International Journals and Conferences and also participated in many National
and International Conferences. In his current role, he is representing NEC for
Global ICT Standards forum of India (GISFI). His research interest includes
Next Generation Wireless Networks.
158 S. Arumugam et al.
Sheeba Backia Mary Baskaran received her Ph.D. in Faculty of Information
and Communication Engineering from Anna University, Chennai in 2017.
She received her M.E. degree in Computer science and engineering from
Anna University, Coimbatore and received the B.Tech. degree in Information
Technology from Anna University, Chennai. She was a member of NGNLabs
Anna University and was a recipient of Maulana Azad National Fellowship
from 2013–2016. She has 19 months of experience in Research and Devel-
opment of mobile communication networks and security standardization. She
is carrying out her research in Security Solutions for 5G, Internet of Things,
Public Safety network and Common API Framework. Her research interest
includes LTE, LTE-Advanced, 5G, IoT Security and MAC layer protocol
design. She contributes to 3GPP SA3 standard Specifications and applied
for more than 5 patents in next generation network security. She has authored
over 10 publications in international journals (IEEE Access,ACM, Elsevier &
Springer) and conferences. She is also a reviewer for IEEE Access and Elsevier
Alf Zugenmaier is teaching mobile networks and security at the Munich
University of Applied Sciences. He also represents NTT DOCOMO at the
3GPP security working group of which he is vice chair. He has been con-
tributing to security standardization in 3GPP for ten years, supporting 4G
and 5G security standardization. Prior to joining the University, he worked
at DOCOMO Euro-labs in Munich, Germany, and Microsoft Research in
Cambridge, UK. His areas of interest are network and systems security as
well as privacy.
... The DN might be providing data services such as operator services, Internet access or content services. The DN function has been mapped onto the third party domain in 5G architecture because of secondary authentication provided by DN Authentication Authorisation Accounting (AAA) servers [8]. In another applicable scenario, the HN might provide infrastructure services via network slices to other MNOs or SPs, even though they are in the same network domain; however, the service and security provision are handled by another party, therefore secondary authentication could be applied to internal DN [9]. ...
Full-text available
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Improved Extensible Authentication Protocol Method for 3rd Generation Authentication and Key Agreement (EAP-AKA')
RFC 5448, "Improved Extensible Authentication Protocol Method for 3rd Generation Authentication and Key Agreement (EAP-AKA')", Nokia, May 2009.
Diameter Roaming Security -Proposed Permanent Reference Document
  • Gsma Rifs
GSMA RIFS: "Diameter Roaming Security -Proposed Permanent Reference Document".