DoS Attacks Exploiting Signaling in UMTS and IMS

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Executive Summary

The Universal Mobile Telecommunication Standard (UMTS) is continuously evolving to meet the growing demand of modern mobile and Internet applications for high capacity and advanced features in security and quality of service. Although admittedly enhanced in terms of security when compared to 2G systems, UMTS still has weaknesses that can lead to security incidents. In this paper, the authors investigate the vulnerabilities of the UMTS security architecture that can be exploited by a malicious individual to mount Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. Their focus is on signaling-oriented attacks above the physical layer. They describe and analyze several novel attacks that can be triggered against both core UMTS architecture as well as hybrid UMTS/WLAN realms.

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