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Network Communications Security Wireless Networking Technology

Battery-Powered Transmitter Could Crash A City's 4G Network 121

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-york-must-have-a-lot-of-these dept.
DavidGilbert99 writes "With a £400 transmitter, a laptop and a little knowledge you could bring down an entire city's high-speed 4G network. This information comes from research carried out in the U.S. into the possibility of using LTE networks as the basis for a next-generation emergency response communications system. Jeff Reed, director of the wireless research group at Virginia Tech, along with research assistant Marc Lichtman, described the vulnerabilities to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which advises the White House on telecom and information policy. 'If LTE technology is to be used for the air interface of the public safety network, then we should consider the types of jamming attacks that could occur five or ten years from now (PDF). It is very possible for radio jamming to accompany a terrorist attack, for the purpose of preventing communications and increasing destruction,' Reed said."
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Battery-Powered Transmitter Could Crash A City's 4G Network

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  • What's the point? (Score:5, Informative)

    by rabtech (223758) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @03:45PM (#41983489) Homepage

    What's the point here? You can do the same thing with all the proprietary public safety network gear various vendors are peddling - they are mostly hilariously insecure. Or if you have a portable generator, just flood the public safety band with interference. It accomplishes the same thing.

    The article claims older 3G and 2G networks would still work if LTE were jammed but that's completely false. There are a ton of ways to jam those by using fake femtocell pilot signals or otherwise interfering with synchronization signals.

    In fact the MIMO technology of LTE could make it slightly harder to jam if the base stations are properly filtering stray signals. Use car-mounted MIMO for the user-side and you would get something way better than any of the existing systems at resisting interference.

  • Re:Ham Radio Baby!!! (Score:4, Informative)

    by ATestR (1060586) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @04:15PM (#41983869) Homepage

    More than two! Latest estimates that I've heard are that there are 600,000+ Hams in the US.

  • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @05:16PM (#41984703)

    Interestingly, I found and reported a similar vulnerability in the P25 radio system about six years ago.

    Nothing's happened. You can jam all the first responder radios in a city with a very small amount of hardware and a copy of the protocol.

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.