& cplSiteName &

Attack Bots: The Social Media Threat to 4G

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
11/28/2012
50%
50%

NEW YORK -- Mobile Network Security Strategies: New Threats, New Opportunities -- Security panelists are expecting that an attack orchestrated by an Internet activist group via social media will soon take down a mobile operator's 4G network, if it hasn't happened already.

Dan Holden, director of the ASERT group at Arbor Networks , suggests that a "hacktivist" group like Anonymous could turn an operator's network against itself by assembling a large enough group of users with Long Term Evolution (LTE) devices via social media to trigger a distributed denial-of-service attack that is botnet driven.

"If you're a mobile provider and you say one thing that ticks off a group like Anonymous then they could go after you with your own bandwidth," suggests Holden.

This is because the far speedier uploads available over LTE smartphones and tablets would make it much easier to flood the limited spectrum available to 4G wireless networks.

Readers may remember that back in December 2009 there was an attempt to take down AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s network with "Operation Chokehold" because of dissatisfaction over 3G service on the iPhone, though it fell rather flat. (See AT&T: Don't Choke Us and Operation Jokehold.)

Stephen Newman, VP of product and strategy at Damballa Inc. , suggests that the power of social media three years on could allow hacktivists to assemble much larger groups to participate in an attack with their handsets.

"They opt in," he says. "They don't really realize what they're doing."

So, it may be a case of not if but when for mobile operators preparing for these kinds of attacks. "I think it's quite possible and likely already happened and we'll see it become more commonplace over time," says Arbor's Holden. (See AT&T: Security Needs to Out-Innovate Hackers.)

For more
Further coverage from Light Reading's Mobile Network Security Strategies event:



— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:54 PM
re: Attack Bots: The Social Media Threat to 4G


As Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan pointed out to me during a break there's even ready-made communities such as I Hate Sprint -- amongst many others -- that could be mobilized in such attacks.

shygye75
50%
50%
shygye75,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:16:52 PM
re: Attack Bots: The Social Media Threat to 4G


Sounds like an episode for "Doomsday Preppers." This could actually make for a good end-of-year series for LR: Your Worst Nightmares.

joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:52 PM
re: Attack Bots: The Social Media Threat to 4G


I guess I'll have to publish that one before December 21, 2012 then. ;-)

joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:48 PM
re: Attack Bots: The Social Media Threat to 4G


Where this stuff gets managed and who pays was a side theme at the show. Does it fall on the carrier, the infrastructure vendor or the device vendor?

smithpa1
50%
50%
smithpa1,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:48 PM
re: Attack Bots: The Social Media Threat to 4G


While we wish the net is free from any constraints, scenarios such as this cry out for Traffic Management devices to throttle high bandwidth users (only when network congestion exists).


The LTE manufacturers can build this capability into their product if not there already.

Featured Video
From The Founder
The world of virtualization is struggling to wrench itself away from the claws of vendor lock-in, which runs counter to everything that NFV stands for.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
21st Century Networking? Welcome to the Lock-In
Steve Saunders, Founder, Light Reading, 2/20/2018
How Long Before We Hit Peak MWC?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 2/23/2018
Stakes Run High for Tivo in Comcast Suit
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/20/2018
Liberty Global: Not So Fast on D3.1
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 2/20/2018
AT&T Reveals Initial 5G Cities
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/21/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed