Telecommunications Security


Long held in logical and physical isolation from other systems, telecommunications networks and other pieces of our critical infrastructure are rapidly being assimilated into the Internet. Today, systems including electrical grids and traffic systems are now accessible to users, regardless of their location, with a few clicks of a mouse.

As our research has demonstrated, such interconnections are not without consequence. With the bandwidth available to most cable modems, an adversary can launch attacks capable of denying voice service to cellular telecommunications networks in major cities. In times of emergency, when such networks are essential in saving lives, such attacks can be extremely dangerous.

Our current research aims at fixing this and a variety of other vulnerabilities we have discovered in cellular networks. For more information about attacks, please visit www.smsanalysis.org, read our paper published at ACM CCS 2005 and in the New York Times, or contact us directly.

Related Publications

Patrick Traynor, Patrick McDaniel and Thomas La Porta. Security for Telecommunications Networks. Springer, Advances in Information Security, 40, 2008. [Book]

Patrick Traynor, William Enck, Patrick McDaniel, and Thomas La Porta. Exploiting Open Functionality in SMS-Capable Cellular Networks. Journal of Computer Security, IOS Press 2007. (to appear).

Patrick Traynor, Patrick McDaniel and Thomas La Porta. On Attack Causality in Internet-Connected Cellular Networks. Proceedings of the 16th USENIX Security Symposium (SECURITY), August 2007.

Patrick Traynor, Vikhyath Rao, Trent Jaeger and Patrick McDaniel, and Thomas La Porta. From Mobile Phones to Responsible Devices. Technical Report NAS-TR-0059-2007, Network and Security Research Center, January 2007. [Full Paper: Abstract]

Patrick Traynor, William Enck, Patrick McDaniel and Thomas La Porta. Mitigating Attacks on Open Functionality in SMS-Capable Cellular Networks. Proceedings of the Twelfth Annual ACM International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom), September 2006. [Full Paper: pdf]

William Enck, Patrick Traynor, Patrick McDaniel and Thomas La Porta. Exploiting Open Functionality in SMS-Capable Cellular Networks. Proceedings of 12th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS), Alexandria, VA, November 2005. [Full Paper: pdf]