A Novel Denial of Service Vulnerability in Long Term Evolution Cellular Networks

AbstractCurrently many cellular networks operate using the Long Term Evolution (LTE) protocol. Therefore, most mobile subscribers interact with LTE on a daily basis, and thus are affected by the security standards and mechanisms it implements. Here, we propose a vulnerability within the LTE protocol: the mobility management control signaling, which dictates how a user equipment (UE) synchronizes with an enhanced Node-B (eNodeB) to prevent intersymbol interference. Presented are the implications and the overall effects on the bit error rate (BER) of falsified signaling which forces a UE to incorrectly advance or delay its uplink timing. Specifically, we derive a lower bound on the BER for UE that is subjected to the aforementioned signaling. Our simulation results show that a non-zero BER can be guaranteed regardless of noise conditions. Finally, we propose encryption of this signaling to prevent such an attack.

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