A group of US researchers managed to crack key 4G LTE protocols to monitor users, falsify their whereabouts and forge messages. Engineers working with 5G need to take into account the fact that vulnerabilities are present in LTE and can affect not only 4G.
According to researchers, the following protocol procedures are vulnerable:
The procedure for registering the mobile station (Attach) is the procedure for connecting the subscriber's device to the network (for example, when the device is turned on).
The procedure for detaching a mobile station (Detach) is the procedure for disconnecting a subscriber's device from the network (for example, when the device is turned off, a weak signal or the device can not recognize the network).
Paging is a protocol that is part of the establishment of a connection. It is intended for repeated receipt of system information by the device.
The researchers created a tool called LTEInspector, with which they were able to identify vulnerabilities that allow carrying out nine already known attacks and ten new ones. The tool is intended for determining the order of actions and events, examining encrypted messages, etc.
"The set of properties checked by LTEInspector includes authentication (for example, rejection of impersonation), availability (prevention of denial of service), integrity (limiting unauthorized billing) and secrecy of user confidential information (prevention of profiling activity)," the researchers report.
The most dangerous is an attack that allows attackers to "connect to key networks without the necessary credentials, simply issuing their device for the victim's mobile device." In addition, the network can register a subscriber in London, while in fact he will be in Paris. Thus, criminals can provide themselves with a fake alibi at the time of committing crimes.