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CS/CIS Event: Are 4G/5G Networks Vulnerable to Radio Signaling Attacks?

August 30 @ 11:30 - 12:30

Co-sponsored by: RIT’s GCCIS PhD Program

The presentation is sponsored by:

    IEEE Rochester Section: Computer and Computational Intelligence Societies Joint Chapter

    (CS/CIS) and RIT’s GCCIS PhD Program.



4G/5G security is an emerging problem, especially with IoT, V2V, UAV and other applications of advanced wireless technology emerging. In order to understand the vulnerabilities of these networks, we built a software radio testbed that models 4G LTE environments and developed a series of different cyber attacks to compromise the LTE radio access network. Motivated by the fact that mobile networks highly rely on control channel signaling, we challenged the system performance and availability by attacking individual LTE control channels and signals. Moreover, since user equipment (UEs) implicitly trust networks before the mutual authentication handshake is completed, we tested the effect that fake base stations and fake signaling, which we coin control channel spoofing, have on the behavior UEs. After running numerous experiments in controlled radio environments with standard compliant and mission critical LTE networks and commercial UEs we found that a number of radio frequency attacks can cause serious damage to the network performance and availability. One of the simplest, yet most severe attacks that can cause denial of service is to transmit the LTE synchronization signals asynchronously to those of legitimate networks. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this threat that all LTE UEs face. An important lesson learned for 5G development and deployment is that standards need to consider operational edge cases for which simple solutions may exist.

Speaker(s): Vuk Marojevic,


11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Presentation

Note: no advance registration required


RIT visitor parking suggestions:

    1) Stop at the welcome center and obtain visitor parking permit — [Google map]

    2) Then park at Visitor Parking in the E-lot — [Google map]

Additional Links:

  IEEE meeting entry : https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/202917

Room: University Gallery
Bldg: James E. Booth Hall – Bldg 7A
152 Lomb Memorial Dr.
Rochester, New York


August 30
11:30 - 12:30