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4G, 5G Networks Could Be Vulnerable to Exploit Due to 'Mishmash' of Old Technologies


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A representation of 5G networks.

Positive Technologies' Sergey Puzankov said that outstanding issues in the SS7 protocol continue to plague the telecommunications industry as it transitions to 5G.

Credit: Shutterstock

Positive Technologies' Sergey Puzankov said during a presentation at Black Hat Asia that outstanding issues in the Signaling System 7 (SS7) protocol continue to plague the telecommunications industry as it transitions to 5G.

A 2014 report by the cybersecurity firm found exploitable flaws in the protocol that could be used to intercept phone calls, bypass two-factor authentication, and perform other attacks.

At the same time, the telecom industry continues to use Diameter and GTP for 3GPP, GSM, UMTS, and LTE networks. These protocols often are connected by mobile networks to provide a seamless experience as consumers shift between 3G, 4G, and 5G.

Said Puzankov, "Intruders are attacking mobile networks from all possible angles, in part by leveraging multiple protocols in combined attacks."

He demonstrated that attacks can begin with malicious action in one protocol and continue in another. These attacks can take place even on well-protected networks.

From ZDNet
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