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Data and Voice Signal Intelligence Interception Over The GSM Um Interface

Author(s) : Vincent N. Omollo, Silvance Abeka, Solomon Ogara

Volume & Issue : VOLUME 3 / 2016 , ISSUE 2

Page(s) : 6-14
ISSN (Online): 2394-3858
ISSN (Print) : 2394-3866

Abstract

The Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) is a digital mobile phone technology that permits enhanced data communication rates as a backward-compatible annex of the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM). It delivers increased bit-rates per radio channel, which results to a threefold increase in capacity and performance compared with an ordinary GSM/General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) connection. It has found many applications in packet switched communication scenarios, such as internet connections. In a GSM environment, owing to its cellular nature, the communication signals are sent over the air interface. Therefore, it is less secure than in a wired network because it is prone to eavesdroppers equipped with appropriate radio receivers. To address the various security challenges, several security functions were built into GSM to safeguard subscriber privacy. These functions include: authentication of the registered subscribers only; secure data transfer through the use of encryption; subscriber identity protection; making mobile phones inoperable without a subscriber identity module (SIM); disallowing duplicate SIMs on the network; and securely storing the individual subscriber authentication key ( KI). However, as demonstrated in this paper, the EDGE signals can still be intercepted, re-routed or modified over the GSM Um interface.



Keywords

Encryption, GSM, Security, Signal interception, Um Interface

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