September 22, 2023

Paull Ank Ford

Business Think different

The GTP Protocol Is Creating Serious Vulnerabilities in Mobile Networks

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“Currently, operators are placing really couple protection actions in place to shield towards these vulnerabilities”

Cellular operators continue being very uncovered to vulnerabilities in the GTP protocol, rendering just about just about every community open up to denial of support assaults, impersonations and fraud campaigns.

The GTP protocol is a tunneling protocol defined by the 3GPP specifications to carry General Packet Radio Support (GPRS) in just 3G/4G networks protection issues with it are greatly recognised.

Security organization Optimistic Technologies claimed its exams for 28 telecom operators in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America observed that just about every 1 was susceptible, with the assaults in some locations able to be carried out just with a cell telephone GTP issues also specifically impact 5G networks.

One particular of the principal flaws in the GTP protocol is that it does not examine a user’s locale, an attacker can use this flaw to deliver destructive targeted traffic which the house community has trouble determining the legitimacy of subscriber credentials are also checked on S-GW (SGSN) gear by default, which can be mimicked by an attacker to steal details, the protection organization claimed in a new report.

The report states that: “The trouble is that locale monitoring will have to be cross-protocol, which signifies examining the subscriber’s actions by making use of SS7 or Diameter. The protection resources utilized on most networks really do not have these types of capabilities.”

The scientists analyzed the networks by simulating serious-earth assaults by sending request to an operator’s community. Utilizing resources these types of as a PT Telecom Vulnerability Scanner and a PT Telecom Attack Discovery they observed that DoS assaults were being thriving eighty three percent of the time.

Dmitry Kurbatov, CTO at Optimistic Technologies commented that: “Every community analyzed was observed to be susceptible to DoS, impersonation and fraud. In practice, this signifies that attackers could interfere with community gear and go away an full city without communications, defraud operators and prospects, impersonate end users to entry numerous sources, and make operators fork out for non-existent roaming expert services. Also, the chance degree is really significant: some of these assaults can be done making use of just a cell telephone.”

GTP Protocol and 5G

Regretably 5G networks are deployed on the Evolved Packet Main (EPC) which was also utilized to set up the 4G Extensive-Phrase Evolution community, as these types of 5G is also susceptible to exact flaws opened up by the GTP protocol.

The use of the EPC community is supposed to be only a non permanent evaluate till 5G’s core standalone networks is recognized, but until that is in place 5G is susceptible to the exact protection challenges as all the other networks.

Dmitry Kurbatov states that: “We can say that most of today’s 5G networks, just like 4G ones, are susceptible to these types of assaults. This makes the protection vulnerabilities of the GTP protocol urgent – as the increased use of 5G vastly increases the hurt an attack these types of as a denial of support attack could do.”

“Currently, operators are placing really couple protection actions in place to shield towards these vulnerabilities and are also producing configuration mistakes that are placing their networks at even further chance.

“We urge operators to go through this study and fork out much more consideration to the GTP protocol and abide by the tips of the GSMA FS.twenty GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP) Security, like employing ongoing checking and assessment of signalling targeted traffic to detect opportunity protection threats.”

See Also: Attaining the Gains of System as a Support, Without the need of Inheriting the Risks