UMTS Security Architecture
UMTS or better known as 3G has evolved since it’s introduction into mainstream mobile operators. With initial claimed mobile data rates of 384kbps, evolving into HSDPA and HSUPA as 3.5G and 3.75G respectively providing as much as 24Mbps. UMTS 3GPP standards have been developed without infrastructure and core security requirements in mind. Although the radio access security has been inherited and built in rather well the network domain has somewhat lacked in security oversight.
Numerous attack vectors and threats exist for Mobile Operators, which should be taken into consideration. Firstly, mobile users themselves can be a source of attack. With the GGSN being the first IP hop stringent security host controls needs to be implemented across the Mobile Core Network – DoS on PDP context activate, attack on other mobile users are just some examples.
Over-billing attacks are also common if there is a flaw in the security design of the Mobile Core. Signaling plane within the Mobile Core environment is equally important and relevent mechanisms need to be in place to ensure the control plane is well protected. With the requirement to inter-operate with other Mobile Operators for roaming also need to protect themselves from the GRX network that contain rogue operators.
GPRS Tunnel Protocol (GTP) firewalls can be placed at Gn and Gp interfaces within the Mobile Core to protect against sophisticated mobile attacks. Additional stateful-firewalls need to be implemented at the Gi interface to provide high performance stateful NAT features where mobile handsets have private IP addresses. With each handset becoming data enabled, Carrier Grade NAT (CGNAT) and Cone NAT features need to be implemented to support a new wave of app based mobile data usage.
DTS Solution has comprehensive Mobile Network Security experience and can assist mobile operators to reduce risk factors from a highly challenging environment. Media visibility for Mobile Operators is evident and any security lapse or outage can seriously damage consumer confidence. With DTS Solution you can be assured the solution offered is strategic, multi-dimensional and driven to meet your absolute requirements.