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Written by Nate Perkins, CEO VoIP Communications

Continued from page 1

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Security of GSM System

Written by Priyanka Agarwal

Continued from page 1

Security breaches

Time to time, people have tried to decode GSM algorithms. For instance, according to Issac press release (1998) in April 1998,repparttar SDA (Smartcard Developer Association) along with two U.C Berkeley researchers alleged that they have crackedrepparttar 107946 COMP128 algorithm, which is stored onrepparttar 107947 SIM. They claimed that within several hours they were able to deducerepparttar 107948 Ki by sending immense numbers of challenges torepparttar 107949 authorization module. They also said that out of 64 bits, Kc uses only 54 bits with zeros padding outrepparttar 107950 other 10, which makesrepparttar 107951 cipher key purposefully weaker. They felt government interference might berepparttar 107952 reason behind this, as this would allow them to monitor conversations. However, they were unable to confirm their assertion since it is illegal to use equipment to carry out such an attack inrepparttar 107953 US. In reply to this assertion,repparttar 107954 GSM alliance stated that sincerepparttar 107955 GSM network allows only one call from any phone number at any one time it is of no relevant use even if a SIM could be cloned. GSM hasrepparttar 107956 ability to detect and shut down duplicate SIM codes found on multiple phones (Business press release, 1998).

According to Srinivas (2001), one ofrepparttar 107957 other claims was made byrepparttar 107958 ISAAC security research group. They asserted that a fake base station could be built for around $10,000, which would allow a “man-in-the-middle” attack. As a result of this,repparttar 107959 real base station can get deluged which would compel a mobile station to connect torepparttar 107960 fake station. Consequently,repparttar 107961 base station could eavesdrop onrepparttar 107962 conversation by informingrepparttar 107963 phone to use A5/0, which is without encryption.

One ofrepparttar 107964 other possible scenarios is of insider attack. Inrepparttar 107965 GSM system, communication is encrypted only betweenrepparttar 107966 Mobile station andrepparttar 107967 Base Transceiver station but withinrepparttar 107968 provider’s network, all signals are transmitted in plain text, which could give a chance for a hacker to step inside (Li, Chen & Ma).

Measures taken to tackle these flaws According to Quirke (2004), sincerepparttar 107969 emergence of these, attacks, GSM have been revising its standard to add newer technologies to patch uprepparttar 107970 possible security holes, e.g. GSM1800, HSCSD, GPRS and EDGE. Inrepparttar 107971 last year, two significant patches have been implemented. Firstly, patches for COMP 128-2 and COMP128-3 hash function have been developed to addressrepparttar 107972 security hole with COMP 128 function. COMP128-3 fixesrepparttar 107973 issue whererepparttar 107974 remaining 10 bits ofrepparttar 107975 Session Key (Kc) were replaced by zeroes. Secondly, it has been decided that a new A5/3 algorithm, which is created as part ofrepparttar 107976 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) will replacerepparttar 107977 old and weak A5/2. But this replacement would result in releasing new versions ofrepparttar 107978 software and hardware in order to implement this new algorithm and it requiresrepparttar 107979 co-operation ofrepparttar 107980 hardware and software manufacturers. GSM is coming out of their “security by obscurity” ideology, which is actually a flaw by making their 3GPP algorithms available to security researchers and scientists (Srinivas, 2001).

Conclusion To provide security for mobile phone traffic is onerepparttar 107981 goals described in GSM 02.09 specification, GSM has failed in achieving it in past (Quirke, 2004). Until a certain point GSM did provide strong subscriber authentication and over-the-air transmission encryption but different parts of an operator’s network became vulnerable to attacks (Li, Chen, Ma). The reason behind this wasrepparttar 107982 secrecy of designing algorithms and use of weakened algorithms like A5/2 and COMP 128. One of other vulnerability is that of inside attack. In order to achieve its stated goals, GSM is revising its standards and it is bringing in new technologies so as to counteract these security holes. While no human-made technology is perfect, GSM isrepparttar 107983 most secure, globally accepted, wireless, public standard to date and it can be made more secure by taking appropriate security measures in certain areas. Bibliography

Business Wire Press release (1998). GSM Alliance Clarifies False & Misleading Reports of Digital Phone Cloning. Retrieved October 26th, 2004 Web site: http://jya.com/gsm042098.txt

Brookson (1994). Gsmdoc Retrieved October 24th, 2004 from gsm Web site: http://www.brookson.com/gsm/gsmdoc.pdf

Chengyuan Peng (2000). GSM and GPRS security. Retrieved October 24th, 2004 from Telecommunications Software and Multimedia Laboratory Helsinki University of Technology Web site: http://www.tml.hut.fi/Opinnot/Tik-110.501/2000/papers/peng.pdf Epoker Retrieved October 27th, 2004 from Department of Mathematics Boise State University, Mathematics 124,Fall 2004 Web site:http://math.boisestate.edu/~marion/teaching/m124f04/epoker.htm Huynh & Nguyen (2003). Overview of GSM and GSM security. Retrieved October 25th, 2004 from Oregon State university, project Web site: http://islab.oregonstate.edu/koc/ece478/project/2003RP/huynh_nguyen_gsm.doc

Li, Chen & Ma (n.d). Security in gsm. Retrieved October 24th, 2004 from gsm-security Web site: http://www.gsm-security.net/papers/securityingsm.pdf

Quirke (2004). Security inrepparttar 107984 GSM system. Retrieved October 25th, 2004 from Security Website:http://www.ausmobile.com/downloads/technical/Security inrepparttar 107985 GSM system 01052004.pdf

Margrave (n.d). GSM system and Encryption. Retrieved October 25th, 2004 from gsm-secur Web site: http://www.hackcanada.com/blackcrawl/cell/gsm/gsm-secur/gsm-secur.html Press release (1998). Smartcard Developer Association Clones Digital GSM 1998). Retrieved October 26th, 2004 from is sac Web site: http://www.isaac.cs.berkeley.edu/isaac/gsm.html

Srinivas (2001). The GSM Standard (An overview of its security) Retrieved October 25th, 2004 from papers Web site:http://www.sans.org/rr/papers/index.php?id=317

Stallings (2003). Cryptography and Network Security: Principles and practices. USA: Prentice Hall.

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