Cellular traffic for voice and data from mobile devices and retransmission devices can be intercepted via numerous methods. Malicious actors can deploy their own cellular tower equipment and intercept cellular traffic surreptitiously. Additionally, government agencies of adversaries and malicious actors can intercept cellular traffic via the telecommunications backbone over which mobile traffic is transmitted.
The table below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf and ParentOf, 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.
Standard 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.
Adversaries can purchase hardware and software solutions, or create their own solutions, to capture/intercept cellular radio traffic. The cost of a basic Base Transceiver Station (BTS) to broadcast to local mobile cellular radios in mobile devices has dropped to very affordable costs. The ability of commercial cellular providers to monitor for "rogue" BTS stations is poor in many areas and it is assumed that "rogue" BTS stations exist in urban areas.
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.
Encryption of all data packets emanating from the smartphone to a retransmission device via two encrypted tunnels with Suite B cryptography, all the way to the VPN gateway at the datacenter.
A Related Weakness relationship associates a weakness with this attack pattern. Each association implies a weakness that must exist for a given attack to be successful. If multiple weaknesses are associated with the attack pattern, then any of the weaknesses (but not necessarily all) may be present for the attack to be successful. Each related weakness is identified by a CWE identifier.
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed:
September 30, 2019