Cyber security vulnerabilities during long term evolution power-saving discontinuous reception protocol
McEachen, John C.
Garren, David A.
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Long Term Evolution (LTE) is a wireless access communications network that consists of base stations called eNodeBs (eNBs), which allow connectivity between the mobile device or user equipment (UE) and the core network. To save battery power, the UE can turn off its radio transceiver circuitry, based on various parameters exchanged during the attach procedure with its serving eNB, using a protocol called discontinuous reception (DRX). During the DRX period, the UE is still connected to the network and its receiver is turned on periodically to determine if the eNB has sent any packets to it. This thesis develops the concepts of using simulation to demonstrate if a denial of service attack during the long DRX period, as hypothesized by some researchers, can be realized. Requirements for experimentation were identified and current simulation tools were evaluated as potential candidates. The tools applied were the LTE standards, the open source ns-3 network simulator and analysis of actual LTE packet traces. Follow-on studies will be required in order to address issues due to the incompleteness of the ns-3 LTE model and the incompatibility of the file format for LTE traces with that required by the Wireshark network protocol analyzer. Essentially, neither tool contains the DRX algorithm.
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