Please note multiple researchers published and compiled this work. This is a list of their research in the 3G/4G/5G Cellular security space. This information is intended to consolidate the community's knowledge. Thank you, I plan on frequently updating this "Awesome Cellular Hacking" curated list with the most up to date exploits, blogs, research, and papers.
The idea is to collect information like the BMW article below, that slowly gets cleared and wiped up from the Internet - making it less accessible, and harder to find. Feel free to email me any document or link to add.
Rogue BTS & CDMA/GSM Traffic Impersonation and Interception
- How to create an Evil LTE Twin/LTE Rogue BTS How to setup a 4G/LTE Evil Twin Base Station using srsLTE and a USRP SDR device.
- How To Build Your Own Rogue GSM BTS For Fun and Profit "In this blog post I’m going to explain how to create a portable GSM BTS which can be used either to create a private ( and vendor free! ) GSM network or for GSM active tapping/interception/hijacking … yes, with some (relatively) cheap electronic equipment you can basically build something very similar to what the governments are using from years to perform GSM interception."
- Practical attacks against GSM networks: Impersonation "Impersonating a cellular base station with SDR: With the flexibility, relative low cost of Software Defined Radio (SDR) and abundance of open source projects that emulate a cell tower, successfully impersonating a GSM Base Station (BTS) is not a difficult task these days."
- Building a Portable GSM BTS Using BladeRF/PI "I was always amazed when I read articles published by some hackers related to GSM technology. However, playing with GSM technologies was not cheap until the arrival of Software Defined Radios (SDRs), besides not being something easy to be implemented."
- rtl.sdr.com Tutorial-Analyzing GSM with-Airprobe and Wireshark "The RTL-SDR software defined radio can be used to analyze cellular phone GSM signals, using Linux based tools GR-GSM (or Airprobe) and Wireshark. This tutorial shows how to set up these tools for use with the RTL-SDR."
- Traffic Interception for Penetration Testing Engagements "Within the penetration testing domain quite often we have to deal with different technologies and devices. It’s important to cover all aspects of connectivity of a device being tested which is why we have built a GSM/GPRS interception capability. There are a number of different devices and systems that make use of GSM/GPRS, non-exhaustively we commonly see:"
Rogue Base Stations or Evil BTS's, 2G/3G/4G
OpenBTS software is a Linux application that uses a software-defined radio to present a standard 3GPP air interface to user devices, while simultaneously presenting those devices as SIP endpoints to the Internet
YateBTS is a software implementation of a GSM/GPRS radio access network based on Yate and is compatible with both 2.5G and 4G core networks comprised in our YateUCN unified core network server. Resiliency, customization and technology independence are the main attributes of YateBTS
Installing a USRP Device on Linux
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ettusresearch/uhd sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install libuhd-dev libuhd003 uhd-host uhd_find_devices cd /usr/lib/uhd/utils/ ./uhd_images_downloader.py sudo uhd_usrp_probe
sudo uhd_usrp_probe [INFO] [UHD] linux; GNU C++ version 7.4.0; Boost_106501; UHD_18.104.22.168-release [INFO] [B200] Detected Device: B***** [INFO] [B200] Operating over USB 3. [INFO] [B200] Initialize CODEC control... [INFO] [B200] Initialize Radio control... [INFO] [B200] Performing register loopback test... [INFO] [B200] Register loopback test passed [INFO] [B200] Setting master clock rate selection to 'automatic'. [INFO] [B200] Asking for clock rate 16.000000 MHz... [INFO] [B200] Actually got clock rate 16.000000 MHz. _____________________________________________________ / | Device: B-Series Device
Troubleshooting SDR's that are running BTS software
- Improper FW
- Lack of proper antennas
- Wrong cellular phone type
- Wrong SIM
- Not configured correctly - Mobile Country Codes (MCC) and Mobile Network Codes (MNC)
- Incorrect software BTS settings
- Virtualized platform is not fast enough
- Wrong SDR firmware
4.5 Radio Jamming Attacks Jamming attacks are a method of interrupting access to cellular networks by exploiting the radio frequency channel being used to transmit and receive information. Specifically, this attack occurs by decreasing the signal to noise ratio by transmitting static and/or noise at high power levels across a given frequency band. This classification of attack can be accomplished in a variety of ways requiring a varying level of skill and access to specialized equipment. Jamming that targets specific channels in the LTE spectrum and is timed specifically to avoid detection is often referred to as smart jamming. Broadcasting noise on a large swath of RF frequencies is referred to as dumb jamming.
4.5.1 Jamming UE Radio Interface A low cost, high complexity attack has been proposed to prevent the transmission of UE signaling to an eNodeB.
4.5.2 Jamming eNodeB Radio Interface Base stations may have physical (e.g., fiber optic) or wireless (e.g., microwave) links to other base stations. These links are often used to perform call handoff operations. As mentioned in section 4.5.1, it may be possible to jam the wireless connections eNodeBs use to communicate with each other. Although theoretical, the same type of smart jamming attacks that are used against the UE could be modified to target communicating eNodeBs, which would prevent the transmission of eNodeB to eNodeB RF communication.
5G Cellular Attacks
- Threat modeling framework for mobile communication system
- ENISA THREAT LANDSCAPE FOR 5G NETWORKS
- Protecting the 4G and 5G Cellular PagingProtocols against Security and Privacy Attacks
- Insecure Connection Bootstrapping in Cellular Networks: The Root of All Evil
- 5GReasoner: A Property-Directed Security and Privacy Analysis Framework for 5G Cellular Network Protocol
- QCSniper - A tool For capture 2g-4g air traffic using qualcomm phones
- Privacy Attacks to the 4G and 5G Cellular Paging Protocols Using Side Channel Information
- New Privacy Threat on 3G, 4G, and Upcoming 5G AKA Protocols
- New Vulnerabilities in 5G Networks
- Side Channel Analysis in 4G and 5G Cellular Networks
- 5G NR Jamming, Spoofing, and Sniffing
4G/LTE Cellular Attacks
- Detecting Fake 4G Base Stations In Real Time
- BaseSAFE: Baseband SAnitized Fuzzing through Emulation
- Paging Storm Attacks against 4G/LTE Networks from Regional Android Botnets: Rationale, Practicality, and Implications
- This is Your President Speaking:Spoofing Alerts in 4G LTE Networks
- Hacking Public Warning System in LTE Mobile Networks
- RF Exploitation: IoT/OT Hacking with SDR
- Forcing a targeted LTE Cellphone Into an Eavesdropping Network
- Hacking Cellular Networks
- White-Stingray: Evaluating IMSI Catchers Detection Applications
- LTE/LTE-A Jamming, Spoofing, and Sniffing: Threat Assessment and Mitigation
- Exploring LTE security and protocol exploits with open source software and low-cost software radio by Roger Jover
- LTE PROTOCOL EXPLOITS: IMSI CATCHERS,BLOCKING DEVICES AND LOCATION LEAKS
- Practical Attacks Against Privacy and Availability in 4G/LTE Mobile Communication Systems
- Using OpenBTS - "Experimental_Security_Assessment_of_BMW_Cars by KeenLab"
- LTE Security – How Good Is It?
- https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-187.pdf -Small Tweaks do Not Help: Differential Power Analysis of MILENAGE Implementations in 3G/4G USIM Cards
- #root via SMS: 4G access level security assessment
- Small Tweaks do Not Help: Differential Power Analysis of MILENAGE Implementations in 3G/4G USIM Cards
- LTE security and protocol exploits
- LTE Recon - (Defcon 23)
- LTE Pwnage: Hacking HLR/HSS and MME CoreNetwork Elements
- WiFi IMSI Catcher
- Analysis of the LTE Control Plane
- Demystifying the Mobile Network by Chuck McAuley
- VoLTE Phreaking - Ralph Moonen
- [Baseband Attacks: Remote Exploitation of Memory Corruptions in Cellular Protocol Stack] (https://www.usenix.org/system/files/conference/woot12/woot12-final24.pdf)
- Hiding in Plain Signal:Physical Signal Overshadowing Attack on LTE
- LTE Security Disabled—Misconfiguration in Commercial Network
SIM Specific Attacks
- D1T2 - Bypassing GSMA Recommendations on SS7 Networks - Kirill Puzankov
- Getting in the SS7 kingdom: hard technology and disturbingly easy hacks= to get entry points in the walled garden
Misc IMSI/Cellular Tools
- MCC-MNC Codes for Base Stations