Retrofitting Mutual Authentication to GSM Using RAND Hijacking

Mohammed Khan, Christopher J Mitchell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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As has been widely discussed, the GSM mobile telephony system only offers unilateral authentication of the mobile phone to the network; this limitation permits a range of attacks. While adding support for mutual authentication would be highly beneficial, changing the way GSM serving networks operate is not practical. This paper proposes a novel modification to the relationship between a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) and its home network which allows mutual authentication without changing any of the existing mobile infrastructure, including the phones; the only necessary changes are to the authentication centres and the SIMs. This enhancement, which could be deployed piecemeal in a completely transparent way, not only addresses a number of serious vulnerabilities in GSM but is also the first proposal explicitly designed to enhance GSM authentication that could be deployed without modifying any of the existing network infrastructure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecurity and Trust Management
Subtitle of host publication12th International Workshop, STM 2016, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, September 26-27, 2016, Proceedings
EditorsGilles Barthe, Evangelos Markatos, Pierangela Samarati
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-46598-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-46597-5
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2016

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743

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