Interesting research was disclosed at Black Hat 2013 regarding how femtocells can be hacked. Many enterprises use...
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
such devices to boost cellular signals inside large buildings, so are there any practical security concerns for enterprises?
Ask the expert
Perplexed about network security? Send your enterprise threat-related questions today! (All questions are anonymous.)
The security concerns surrounding cellular networking for enterprises have changed significantly in the last three years, especially since Kristin Paget did a presentation at DEF CON 18 on eavesdropping and recording Global System for Mobile Communication cell phone calls. At the time, an attack of this nature could cost thousands of dollars and required significant skill. Nowadays, however, this attack can be easily achieved with a free femtocell from a cellular provider. As with all advanced attacks or security research, tools and techniques have improved and extended so that they can be used by other security professionals for their work and then eventually by script kiddies or common criminals.
At Black Hat 2013, Tom Ritter, Doug DePerry and Andrew Rahimi of iSEC Partners presented "Traffic Interception and Remote Mobile Phone Cloning with a Compromised CDMA Femtocell," where they demonstrated how to use a femtocell to attack devices connecting to the cellular network. They demonstrated attacks on voice, Short Message Service, Multimedia Messaging Service, data, and phone cloning.
While cellular communications are presumed to be more secure than other types of wireless connections, Paget and Ritter, DePerry and Rahimi have demonstrated enterprises should never make that assumption.
In their presentation, Ritter, DePerry and Rahimi recommended a number of steps to protect communications using Code-Division Multiple Access cellular networks. Enterprises should follow their advice by hardening the femtocell systems, implementing phone registration on the femtocell, or using end-to-end encryption to secure the communication regardless of the network used.
Dig Deeper on Emerging Information Security Threats
Related Q&A from Nick Lewis
An HTTPS session with a reused nonce is vulnerable to the Forbidden attack. Expert Nick Lewis explains how the attack works, and how to properly ...continue reading
The Irongate malware has been discovered to have similar functionality to Stuxnet. Expert Nick Lewis explains how enterprises can protect their ICS ...continue reading
APT groups have been continuously exploiting a flaw in Microsoft Office, despite it having been patched. Expert Nick Lewis explains how these attacks...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.