A Vulnerability in 5G Authentication Protocols and Its Countermeasure

Xinxin HU  Caixia LIU  Shuxin LIU  Jinsong LI  Xiaotao CHENG  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E103-D   No.8   pp.1806-1809
Publication Date: 2020/08/01
Publicized: 2020/03/27
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2019FOL0001
Type of Manuscript: Special Section LETTER (Special Section on Formal Approaches)
Category: Formal Approaches
5G network,  authentication protocols,  security,  formal methods,  

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5G network will serve billions of people worldwide in the near future and protecting human privacy from being violated is one of its most important goals. In this paper, we carefully studied the 5G authentication protocols (namely 5G AKA and EAP-AKA') and a location sniffing attack exploiting 5G authentication protocols vulnerability is found. The attack can be implemented by an attacker through inexpensive devices. To cover this vulnerability, a fix scheme based on the existing PKI mechanism of 5G is proposed to enhance the authentication protocols. The proposed scheme is successfully verified with formal methods and automatic verification tool TAMARIN. Finally, the communication overhead, computational cost and storage overhead of the scheme are analyzed. The results show that the security of the fixed authentication protocol is greatly improved by just adding a little calculation and communication overhead.