5G Security Issues Examined

5G Security: Analysis of Threats and Solutions


5G will provide broadband access everywhere, entertain higher user mobility, and enable connectivity of massive number of devices (e.g. Internet of Things (IoT)) in an ultra- reliable and affordable way. The main technological enablers such as cloud computing, Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) are maturing towards their use in 5G. However, there are pressing security challenges in these technologies besides the growing concerns for user privacy. In this paper, we provide an overview of the security challenges in these technologies and the issues of privacy in 5G. Furthermore, we present security solutions to these challenges and future directions for secure 5G systems.

Download Paper HERE.

Security for 5G Mobile Wireless Networks


The advanced features of 5G mobile wireless network systems yield new security requirements and challenges. This paper presents a comprehensive study on the security of 5G wireless network systems compared with the traditional cellular networks. The paper starts with a review on 5G wireless networks particularities as well as on the new requirements and motivations of 5G wireless security. The potential attacks and security services are summarized with the consideration of new service requirements and new use cases in 5G wireless networks. The recent development and the existing schemes for the 5G wireless security are presented based on the corresponding security services, including authentication, availability, data confidentiality, key management, and privacy. This paper further discusses the new security features involving different technologies applied to 5G, such as heterogeneous networks, device-to-device communications, massive multiple-input multiple-output, software-defined networks, and Internet of Things. Motivated by these security research and development activities, we propose a new 5G wireless security architecture, based on which the analysis of identity management and flexible authentication is provided. As a case study, we explore a handover procedure as well as a signaling load scheme to show the advantages of the proposed security architecture. The challenges and future directions of 5G wireless security are finally summarized.

Download Paper HERE.

The Real Reason America Is Scared of Huawei: Internet-Connected Everything

The article originally published in the MIT Technology Review

5. Why is Huawei’s 5G causing so much concern?

As the world’s biggest supplier of networking equipment and second-largest smartphone maker, Huawei is in a prime position to snatch the lion’s share of a 5G market that, by some estimates, could be worth $123 billion in five years’ time.

Stalling the company’s expansion into Western markets could have the convenient side effect of letting competitors catch up. But there are also legitimate security concerns surrounding 5G — and reasons to think it could be problematic for one company to dominate the space.
The US government appears to have decided that it’s simply too risky for a Chinese company to control too much 5G infrastructure.
The focus on Huawei makes sense given the importance of 5G, the new complexity and security challenges, and the fact that the Chinese company is poised to be such a huge player. And given the way Chinese companies are answerable to the government, Huawei’s apparent connections with the Chinese military and its cyber operations, and the tightening ties between private industry and the state, this seems a legitimate consideration.

But the ongoing fight with Huawei also goes to show how vital new technology is to the future of global competition, economic might, and even international security.

Full Article is HERE.

I think the problem is more complicated than described above.  China makes its integrated circuit chips and it would be possible to create a 5G chip with an embedded hardware routine that lays dormant until it is turned on. Once turned on the chip routes key messages to China servers controlled by the Army Intelligence Corp. Those chips with the dormant hardware could be in all Huawei 5G routers.   On multi-layer chips, it might be impossible to find by visible inspection and unless turned on would not show in the message traffic.  These chips could be turned on/off at strategically important times, make them even harder to detect.  An additional problem is that many chips are designed in the US but manufacture overseas.  An opportunity for more intelligence collection skulduggery. I do not know if a US chip designer could recognize that the manufacturer added an embedded hardware routing routine to his or her design.

The solution is to use 5G routers with US certified chips, produced under US control.