5G technology is a double-edged sword.
Compared to its predecessors, 5G offers much faster data transfer speeds, lower latency and more reliable connections. All of this means enhanced user experience for mobile device consumers. Enterprises also benefit with increased productivity and faster service delivery due to 5G’s access to higher bandwidths connecting considerably more users and that 3G and 4G.
That said, 5G technology also plays into the many schemes of cybercriminals. Take 5G spying.The possibility does exist that manufacturers could invade users’ privacy and quietly gather information from unaware users through backdoors. Who could be compromised? Not only individual users but also enterprises, particularly those with employees accessing work-related data on inadequately protected mobile devices.
There’s also the 5G dependency factor.Enterprises and infrastructures will come to depend on 5G significantly more than its predecessors. Air traffic, smart cars, hospitals, and more will rely on 5G. With so many interconnected IoT devices and infrastructures, a security breach in one area can have cascading effects on network-connected devices. The fallout from cyberattacks on unsecured devices can be more catastrophic than ever before, even affecting general public safety.
The potential for 5G monitoring attacks and 5G DDoS attacks is also a concern for cybersecurity professionals.
An analysis conducted by an international team of researchers found that a new sort of security threat can exploit vulnerabilities in all AKE protocols, including those of 5G, and invade the privacy of mobile users more severely than preexisting threats. Although 5G AKE protocols have improved security against fake base station attacks, the researchers demonstrated that relay attacks can breach 5G’s SQN protection, rendering it useless.
These are worse than previous attacks because, unlike before, when a user could escape the invasion by leaving the attack area, hackers can continue monitoring user activity even if they have left the range of the fake base station using this new attack.
It’s also assumed that cyber attackers will likely use 5G’s lower latency to decrease the number of devices needed to overwhelm enterprises in DDoS attacks. 5G’s considerable speed boost will make these attacks more efficient and harder to handle.
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