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Exploiting Automation in LTE Mobile Networks

Altaf Shaik & Ravishankar Borgaonkar

2 vote(s)

To meet the massive demand of mobile communications operators are switching to automated networks that could also save time and money for them. Today's widely deployed LTE networks are equipped with automation features technically referred as Self Organized network (SON) that allows base stations to auto-configure and become operational within no time. Additionally run-time operations are managed and controlled automatically by these base stations.

In this talk, we investigate and discuss SON technology in LTE networks in addition to exploring operational protocols. We identify several vulnerabilities that allows an attacker to disrupt LTE network operations remotely. We demonstrate different methods to exploit these vulnerabilities using low cost tools. Then we share our research methodology and effective usage of low cost software/hardware tools to evaluate attacks in operational LTE networks. Finally we discuss countermeasures for mobile end-users and mobile network operators as well.

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Altaf Shaik is a principal security researcher at Kaitiaki Labs and currently pursuing PhD at the Technical University of Berlin. He is experienced in analyzing cellular network technologies from radio to networking protocol layers. His recent renowned research includes low-cost 4G IMSI catchers and security issues in several cellular baseband chipsets.

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Ravishankar Borgaonkar works as a research fellow at University of Oxford and undertakes research in securing next (5th) generation mobile networks. His primary research themes are related to mobile telecommunication and involved security threats. This ranges from 2G/3G/4G network security to end-user device security.