Flaws in 2G, 3G, and 4G Can Be Repeated in 5G, EU IT Security Agency Warns


Photo by Kārlis Dambrāns via Flickr


European Union Agency for Network and Information Security ENISA, the center of expertise for cybersecurity in Europe, has warned that flaws in the 2G, 3G, and 4G networks could possibly be repeated in 5G. Without adequate thought on encryption of communications and its authentication, millions of insecure devices can be connected to the mobile networks, it emphasized.

The EU IT Security Agency’s message is that security flaws in the present mobile networks could find their way into the 5G networks if the deployment is rushed. “There is a certain risk of repeating history,” it said, referring to the move to 5G mobile networks. The agency adds that what increases the danger is the capacity of the 5G networks to support more bandwidth and more users.

In its latest report, ENISA claimed that the flaws in the Diameter and SS7, the signaling protocols used in previous mobile networks, can also be built into the 5G because it allows the traffic to be spoofed or eavesdropped. With this, the local information can also be intercepted. “These signaling protocols have several severe security weaknesses, “ it adds, claiming that such weaknesses can be exploited by attackers in many ways.

ENISA also hopes to see regulations and laws changes, wherein network operators will be required to secure their signaling systems and not hinder it as the case is today.