Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-606: Weakening of Cellular Encryption (Version 3.0)  

CAPEC-606: Weakening of Cellular Encryption

Attack Pattern ID: 606
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An attacker, with control of a Cellular Rogue Base Station or through cooperation with a Malicious Mobile Network Operator can force the mobile device (e.g., the retransmission device) to use no encryption (A5/0 mode) or to use easily breakable encryption (A5/1 or A5/2 mode).
+ Typical Severity

High

+ Relationships

The table(s) below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as CanFollow, PeerOf, and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar attack patterns that the user may want to explore.

+ Relevant to the view "Mechanisms of Attack" (CAPEC-1000)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfStandard Attack PatternStandard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.620Drop Encryption Level
+ Prerequisites
Cellular devices that allow negotiating security modes to facilitate backwards compatibility and roaming on legacy networks.
+ Skills Required
[Level: Medium]
Adversaries can purchase and implement rogue BTS stations at a cost effective rate, and can push a mobile device to downgrade to a non-secure cellular protocol like 2G over GSM or CDMA.
+ Consequences

The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the attack pattern. The Scope identifies the security property that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in their attack. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a pattern will be used to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.

ScopeImpactLikelihood
Confidentiality
Other
+ Mitigations
Use of hardened baseband firmware on retransmission device to detect and prevent the use of weak cellular encryption.
Monitor cellular RF interface to detect the usage of weaker-than-expected cellular encryption.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2015-11-09CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2018-07-31CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Attack_Motivation-Consequences

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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: July 31, 2018