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Smart-phone Attacks and Defenses Chuanxiong Guo, Helen J. Wang, Wenwu Zhu Outline Smart-Phone background Telecom networks assumptions Motivation Attacks Defenses Conclusions Smart-phones Rich functionalities & features

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smart phone attacks and defenses

Smart-phoneAttacks and Defenses

Chuanxiong Guo, Helen J. Wang, Wenwu Zhu

outline
Outline
  • Smart-Phone background
  • Telecom networks assumptions
  • Motivation
  • Attacks
  • Defenses
  • Conclusions
smart phones
Smart-phones
  • Rich functionalities & features
  • Combine portability of cell-phones with the computation and networking power of PCs
  • 700M units will be shipped in 2007
  • Likely exceed the user population of PCs’

O2 XDA mini S

common os
Common OS
  • OS: Symbian, Windows Mobile, Palm, embedded Linux
    • Access to cellular network (GSM/CDMA, UMTS)
    • Access to Internet (infrared, Bluetooth, GPRS/CDMA1X, 802.11)
    • Use standard TCP/IP protocol stack
    • Multi-tasking
    • Data synchronization with desktop PCs
    • Open API for application development
  • Ease and low cost of introducing new integrated Internet and telecom services
  • Create common ground for security breaches and threats
smart phones5
Smart-phones

Become end-points of both the Internet and telecom networks.

telecom design assumptions
Telecom Design Assumptions
  • Traffic is highly predictable
    • Telecom carriers plan network capacity according to the predicted traffic model
    • Radio spectrum sharing schemes includes TDMA, FDMA, or logical “channels”
  • User identities are tightly coupled with their telephone numbers or SIM cards
    • Telephone number or SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards are used for accounting purposes
motivation
Motivation
  • Telecom network was relatively safe
  • Smart-phone worms, viruses, Trojan horses appeared
    • Cabir, June 14, 2004 (worm)
    • Duts, July 17, 2004 (virus)
    • Mosquito dialer, August 6, 2004 (trojan horse)
    • The source code of the Cabir has been posted online by a Brazilian Programmer
  • Various attacks to telecom infrastructures and users become reality
compromising smart phones
Compromising smart-phones
  • Attacks from the Internet
    • Internet worms, viruses, and Trojan horses
  • Infection from sync desktop
    • Attack pc first, then infect smart-phone through synchronization process
  • Peer smart-phone attack or infection
    • Smart-phone is a mobile device
    • Able to infect victims at different locations
possible smart phone attacks
Possible smart-phone attacks
  • DoS to base stations
  • DDoS to call centers and switches
  • Remote wiretapping
  • Phone blocking
  • SMS spamming
  • Identity theft and spoofing
  • Physical attack
  • National Crisis
dos to base stations
DoS to base stations

Compromised smart-phones use up radio resource at a base station

Even a handful of zombies can increase call blocking rate (0.01% required) dramatically or put the system out of service

Smart-phone zombies

possible smart phone attacks11
Possible smart-phone attacks
  • DoS to base stations
  • DDoS to call centers and switches
  • Remote wiretapping
  • Phone blocking
  • SMS spamming
  • Identity theft and spoofing
  • Physical attack
  • National Crisis
slide12

DDoS to call centers and switches

A

110

PLMN

PSTN

Call Center

B

C

N

PLMN: Public land mobile network PSTN: Public switched telephone network

possible smart phone attacks13
Possible smart-phone attacks
  • DoS to base stations
  • DDoS to call centers and switches
  • Remote wiretapping
  • Phone blocking
  • SMS spamming
  • Identity theft and spoofing
  • Physical attack
  • National Crisis
remote wiretapping
Remote wiretapping

GSM

WLAN

Voice stream

Internet

User A

GSM

PSTN

voice packet

User B

wiretapper

possible smart phone attacks15
Possible smart-phone attacks
  • DoS to base stations
  • DDoS to call centers and switches
  • Remote wiretapping
  • Phone blocking
  • SMS spamming
  • Identity theft and spoofing
  • Physical attack
  • National Crisis
defenses
Defenses
  • Internet side protection
    • NIDS, Firewalls, Patching, Shielding, …
    • Base station performs shielding for users
      • Make seamless handoff challenging
      • Difficult to change deployed 802.11 APs
  • Telecom side protection
    • Abnormal behavior detection
    • Reactions (Rate limiting, Call filtering, Blacklist)
    • Advantage to take: Behavior of telecom users is highly predictable and most of the reaction building blocks already exist
  • Smart-phone side protection
  • Cooperation among the three parties
smart phone hardening
Smart-phone hardening
  • Feature reduction
    • E.g., turn off bluetooth when not active
  • OS hardening
    • E.g., always display callee number when making a phone call
    • Lighting up LCD display when dialing
  • Hardware hardening
    • SIM card to authenticate OS and applications
cooperation among the three parties
Cooperation among the three parties
  • Cellular carriers enforce smart-phones patching and shielding, and OS authentication
  • When smart-phone attacks are detected from the Internet
    • The Internet can inform telecom to prepare in advance
  • When telecom detects smart-phone attacks
    • Inform Internet to reject zombies on the black list
      • Need to judge if a device is a smart-phone
      • IP address to SIM ID or telephone number mapping
discussion
Discussion
  • Broken assumptions
    • Telecom networks assume dumb terminals and intelligent core
  • More Internet security reduction
    • Networks or systems being bridged into the Internet
      • Sensor networks
      • RFID-based inventory systems
      • Home networks
    • More specified functioning systems assumption are being violated
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Alert the community of the imminent dangers of smart-phone attacks
  • A framework for defenses
  • Future work:
    • Detailed defense solutions
    • Study other systems and networks that also face Internet security reduction
      • Home networks
      • Sensor networks