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Basic radio frequency communications - 2. Session 1. Contents. Basic security concepts Attacks against wireless networks Wireless technologies Classification according to the range. Basic security concepts. Vulnerability

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  • Basic security concepts

  • Attacks against wireless networks

  • Wireless technologies

  • Classification according to the range

Basic security concepts
Basic security concepts

  • Vulnerability

    • An inherent weakness in the design, configuration, implementation of a network or system

    • This can take any form and can be intentional, accidental, or simply an act of nature

  • Threat

    • Any possible event that can disrupt the operation, functioning, integrity, or availability of a network or system

Basic security concepts1
Basic security concepts

  • Attack

    • A specific technique used to exploit a vulnerability

  • Example

    • A threat could be a denial of service

    • A vulnerability is in the design of a communication system

    • An attack could be jamming

Basic security concepts2
Basic security concepts

  • Confidentiality

    • Providing confidentiality means hiding the information from an unauthorized third party

  • Integrity

    • Ensuring data integrity means protecting data from being modified without authorization

  • Availability

    • The wireless network should be always available to be used

Basic security concepts3
Basic security concepts

  • Privacy

    • Ensuring privacy means hiding the user identity, location or service usage

  • Authentication

    • Process that ensures that only legitimate users (possessing certain credentials) can access the wireless network

Basic security concepts4
Basic security concepts

  • Access Control

    • Process that grants a legitimate user access to certain information that he/she is allowed to access

  • Non-repudiation

    • Activities that prevent users from denying the use of wireless networks

Attacks against wireless networks
Attacks against wireless networks

  • Passive attacks (1)

    • Channel eavesdropping

      • An attacker can place an antenna to hear the information between the victim transmitter and receiver

    • Channel overuse

      • The radio spectrum is a shared resource

      • A wireless operator or a user may make an excessive use of the radio spectrum and prevent others from accessing it

Attacks against wireless networks1
Attacks against wireless networks

  • Passive attacks (2)

    • Traffic analysis

      • An analysis that shows characteristics of the traffic, e.g. how frequently the communication takes place

  • Active attacks (1)

    • Channel jamming

      • Part of denial of service attacks

      • Performed by transmitting at the same time in the same communication channel as the victim

Attacks against wireless networks2
Attacks against wireless networks

  • Active attacks (2)

    • Identity cheat

      • An attacker impersonates a legitimate user in the wireless networks

    • Spoofing

      • An attacker retrieves data and sends other data to the victim user

    • Data alteration

      • An attacker modifies the content of the information

Attacks against wireless networks4
Attacks against wireless networks

  • Specific vulnerabilities of wireless networks regarding mobility, i.e. the fact that a device can roam across different wireless networks and network operators (1)

    • Privacy of a user is threatened

    • Mobile device is small

      • Limited storage, computing power and energy

      • Strong protection measures (e.g. strong cryptography) are difficult to implement

Attacks against wireless networks5
Attacks against wireless networks

  • Specific vulnerabilities of wireless networks regarding mobility, i.e. the fact that a device can roam across different wireless networks and network operators (2)

    • Mobile device can be easily stolen

      • This may lead to misuse and reverse engineering

Wireless technologies
Wireless technologies

  • RFID

  • Personal networks

    • Bluetooth (IEEE 802.15.1)

    • ZigBee (IEEE 802.15.4)

  • Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11)

  • Cellular networks

    • GSM

    • UMTS (3G)

Wireless technologies1
Wireless technologies

  • Wireless mesh networks

  • Mobile ad hoc networks

  • Hybrid ad hoc networks

  • Vehicular networks

  • Sensor networks

  • Integrated networks

Basic radio frequency communications 2

  • RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)

    • Serves for automatic and secure reading of an ID-number

    • There are also RFID devices capable of storing data – wireless memory (e.g. electronic passports)

  • Applications (

    • Logistics

    • Ticketing

    • Transport (e.g. Autopass), etc.

Basic radio frequency communications 2

  • Operation

    • An RFID tag is mounted on the object to be identified

      • The tag consists of a chip and an antenna

      • Energy needed for operation of the tag is (usually) received from the reader – a radio transmitter

    • When the tag finds itself in the field of the reader’s radio signal, it transmits an echo

    • The echo is checked in the reader’s database and thus the object is identified.

Personal networks
Personal networks

  • Bluetooth

    • A short-range communications system intended to replace the cables connecting portable and/or fixed electronic devices.

    • The system offers services that enable the connection of devices and the exchange of data between these devices.

Personal networks2
Personal networks

  • ZigBee

    • A short-range communication system intended to facilitate communication between various technical devices, tipically home appliances.

    • Simpler messages than Bluetooth

    • More scalable than Bluetooth

Wireless lan
Wireless LAN

  • Wireless LAN enables connectivity of computing devices (PCs, laptop, printers, etc.) by means of a radio link

  • Such a connection is transparent for the users

    • There is no logical difference between a wired and a wireless connection.

Cellular networks
Cellular networks

  • Cellular network

    • A radio network made up of a number of radio cells, each served by a fixed transmitter, known as a base station.

    • These cells are used to cover different areas in order to provide radio coverage over a wider area than the area of one cell

  • Example

    • Mobile telephony networks (GSM, UMTS)

Cellular networks2
Cellular networks

  • Abbreviations (1)

    • SIM – Subscriber Identity Module

    • MS – Mobile Station

    • USIM – Universal Subscriber Identity Module

    • ME – Mobile Equipment

    • TE – Terminal Equipment

    • UE – User Equipment

    • BTS – Base Transceiver Station

    • BSC – Base Station Controller

Cellular networks3
Cellular networks

  • Abbreviations (2)

    • Node B – Analogue to BTS in UMTS

    • RNC – Radio Network Controller

    • BSS – Base Station Subsystem

    • RNS – Radio Network Subsystem

    • MSC – Mobile Switching Center

    • GMSC – Gateway MSC

    • SGSN – Serving GPRS Support Node

    • GGSN – Gateway GPRS Support Node

Cellular networks4
Cellular networks

  • Abbreviations (3)

    • VLR – Visitor Location Register

    • HLR – Home Location Register

    • EIR – Equipment Identity Register

    • AuC – Authentication Center

    • PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network

    • PLMN – Public Land Mobile Network

Wireless mesh networks
Wireless mesh networks

  • Mesh network

    • Data communication through fixed nodes

    • The connectivity allows continued communication even if some of the nodes in the network stop functioning

  • Wireless mesh network

    • Communication between the nodes is wireless

    • Similar to mobile ad hoc networks, but the nodes are in general not mobile.

Mobile ad hoc networks manets
Mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs)

  • A self-configuring network of mobile routers (and associated hosts) connected by wireless links

  • Together, they form an arbitrary topology

  • The routers are free to move randomly and organize themselves arbitrarily

Mobile ad hoc networks manets1
Mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs)

  • The network's wireless topology may change rapidly and unpredictably

  • Such a network may operate in a standalone fashion, or may be connected to a larger Internet

Hybrid ad hoc networks
Hybrid ad hoc networks

  • A structure-based network that is extended using multi-hop communications

  • The existence of a communication link between the mobile station and the base station is not required

    • A mobile station that has no direct connection with a base station can use other mobile stations as relays.

Vehicular networks vanets
Vehicular networks (VANETs)

  • A form of MANET

    • Intended to provide communication among nearby vehicles and between vehicles and nearby fixed equipment (roadside equipment)

  • The main goal

    • providing safety and comfort for passengers

Vehicular networks vanets1
Vehicular networks (VANETs)

  • A special electronic device is placed inside each vehicle

    • Provides ad hoc network connectivity for the passengers

  • This network tends to operate without any infrastructure

Wireless sensor networks
Wireless sensor networks

  • Spatially distributed autonomous devices

    • Use sensors to cooperatively monitor physical or environmental conditions (temperature, sound, vibration, pressure, motion, pollutants, etc.) at different locations.

  • In addition to one or more sensors, each node in a sensor network is equipped with a radio transceiver, a small microcontroller, and an energy source, usually a battery.

Integrated networks
Integrated networks

  • Modern networks often integrate many types of networks, including various types of wireless networks

  • Example

    • Sensor networks and ad hoc networks are often integrated to make a single network

Classification according to range
Classification according to range

  • According to the range, wireless networks are classified in the following way

    • Short-range

      • Bluetooth, ZigBee

    • Medium-range

      • WLAN

    • Medium long-range

      • Cellular

    • Long-range

      • Satellite global area networks