Mitigating attacks on open functionality in SMS-capable cellular networks

Patrick Traynor, William Enck, Patrick McDaniel, Thomas La Porta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

The transformation of telecommunications networks from homogeneous closed systems providing only voice services to Internet-connected open networks that provide voice and data services presents significant security challenges. For example, recent research illustrated that a carefully crafted DoS attack via text messaging could incapacitate all voice communications in a metropolitan area with little more than a cable modem. This attack highlights a growing threat to these systems; namely, cellular networks are increasingly exposed to adversaries both in and outside the network. In this paper, we use a combination of modeling and simulation to demonstrate the feasibility of targeted text messaging attacks. Under realistic network conditions, we show that adversaries can achieve blocking rates of more than 70% with only limited resources. We then develop and characterize five techniques from within two broad classes of countermeasures - queue management and resource provisioning. Our analysis demonstrates that these techniques can eliminate or extensively mitigate even the most intense targeted text messaging attacks. We conclude by considering the tradeoffs inherent to the application of these techniques in current and next generation telecommunications networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Twelfth Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM 2006
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages182-193
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)1595932860, 9781595932860
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Event12th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM 2006 - Los Angeles, CA, United States
Duration: Sep 24 2006Sep 29 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM
Volume2006

Other

Other12th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM 2006
CountryUnited States
CityLos Angeles, CA
Period9/24/069/29/06

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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  • Cite this

    Traynor, P., Enck, W., McDaniel, P., & La Porta, T. (2006). Mitigating attacks on open functionality in SMS-capable cellular networks. In Proceedings of the Twelfth Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM 2006 (pp. 182-193). (Proceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM; Vol. 2006). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/1161089.1161111