Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

5/21/2009
02:49 PM
50%
50%

Tech Road Map: 3G Security Is Getting Better, But It's Still Incomplete

Safeguarding wireless traffic in transit is only part of the equation. Pay attention to devices and endpoints, too.

With more organizations using mobile broadband networks, IT managers should be very concerned about security. Safeguarding data as it travels the airwaves may be only part of a mobile security policy -- enterprises must secure their devices and the data they store -- but the airwaves are a good place to start.

The good news about wireless security is that today's mobile broadband networks have some enhanced security functions built in. The latest 3G technologies, including WiMax, have robust encryption options. AT&T and T-Mobile provide High Speed Packet Access with a 128-bit Kasumi encryption algorithm. CDMA2000, offered by Sprint and Verizon, sports 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard encryption. WiMax also uses AES.

InformationWeek Reports

Encryption Not Guaranteed
The bad news is that there are major shortfalls with AES. One is that AES activation is largely optional on the part of operators. AT&T says its Kasumi encryption is always on, but Verizon wouldn't say whether that's the case for its encryption option. Moreover, even if your operator uses encryption, your users may roam onto a network that doesn't. And a 2G connection has much less robust encryption mechanisms than 3G, which are considered easy to defeat.

Finally, channel encryption only extends to an intermediate point within the cellular network. After that, data travels unencrypted until it reaches the far end of a connection, where most communication is again locked down.

DIG DEEPER
Go Mobile
Figuring out 3G/4G mobile broadband is worth the effort.
Some operators offer network VPNs or private circuits, e.g., frame relay, for the unencrypted portion of your data's journey, so there are some options on the back end if you have a lot of data business with an operator. But these options can be complicated. Even if your radio link is reasonably secure, there's the problem of users connecting via other access networks, such as unprotected Wi-Fi hotspots. Wi-Fi capability is the norm for laptops and increasingly is available on smartphones.

Previous
1 of 3
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Can Your Patching Strategy Keep Up with the Demands of Open Source?
Tim Mackey, Principal Security Strategist, CyRC, at Synopsys,  6/18/2019
Florida Town Pays $600K to Ransomware Operators
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/20/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-12957
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
In Xpdf 4.01.01, a buffer over-read could be triggered in FoFiType1C::convertToType1 in fofi/FoFiType1C.cc when the index number is larger than the charset array bounds. It can, for example, be triggered by sending a crafted PDF document to the pdftops tool. It allows an attacker to use a crafted pd...
CVE-2019-12958
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
In Xpdf 4.01.01, a heap-based buffer over-read could be triggered in FoFiType1C::convertToType0 in fofi/FoFiType1C.cc when it is trying to access the second privateDicts array element, because the privateDicts array has only one element allocated.
CVE-2019-12951
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-24
An issue was discovered in Mongoose before 6.15. The parse_mqtt() function in mg_mqtt.c has a critical heap-based buffer overflow.
CVE-2019-10689
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-24
VVX products using UCS software version 5.9.2 and earlier with Better Together over Ethernet Connector (BToE) application version 3.9.1 and earlier provides insufficient authentication between the BToE application and the BToE component, resulting in leakage of sensitive information.
CVE-2019-12346
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-24
In the miniOrange SAML SP Single Sign On plugin before 4.8.73 for WordPress, the SAML Login Endpoint is vulnerable to XSS via a specially crafted SAMLResponse XML post.