This year, commercial use of 5G networks began, which are often an order of magnitude faster than LTE. However, in terms of security and privacy, they are all bad.
A group of researchers from Purdue University and Iowa State University were able to detect 11 different types of vulnerabilities when analyzing the operation of 5G network protocols. The discovered vulnerabilities were successfully applied in practice and allowed researchers to carry out several attacks in order to track the location of the device, disconnect the 5G connection on the smartphone and transmit false alarms.
In the course of the work, the researchers created a tool called 5GResoner, the use of which allowed several successful attacks on a smartphone working in a 5G network. The exploitation of one of the vulnerabilities led to the complete disconnection of the device from the cellular network. Working in a different scenario, they managed to intercept the device’s paging channel to send false alerts about accidents and emergencies to it. In addition, the researchers were able to fix the location of the device in real time.
Based on the results of the work done, the researchers transferred the collected information to the GSM Association in order to minimize the likelihood that the vulnerabilities they found could be exploited by attackers.