Leading U.S. intelligence and cybersecurity bodies have unveiled a series of guidelines aimed at tackling safety issues associated with 5G standalone network slicing, thereby strengthening these networks against prospective dangers.
“5G’s threat ecosystem is ever-changing, hence requiring sophisticated auditing, monitoring, and other analytic capabilities to sustain specific levels of network slicing service level prerequisites over time,” stated the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Security Agency (NSA).
5G refers to the fifth-generation technology protocol for broadband cellular networks, offering enhanced data transfer speeds and lower latency. Network slicing is a structural model that empowers mobile service providers to split their network into multiple autonomous “slices,” thereby facilitating the creation of virtual networks catering to diverse clients and applications.
The recent advisory builds on guidelines previously announced by the agencies in December 2022, sounding an alarm that network slicing could expose users to an array of threat vectors such as denial-of-service, jamming, identity theft, and enemy-in-the-middle attacks. This could essentially impede the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of network services.
Details regarding the problems with 5G network slicing were outlined in a report released by Enea AdaptiveMobile Security in March 2021. The report emphasized the potential for brute-force attacks to maliciously gain access to a slice and initiate denial-of-service attacks against other network functionalities.
5G Network Slicing In May 2021, the U.S. government issued a warning that inadequate implementation of telecommunication standards, supply chain threats, and structural weaknesses could pose significant cybersecurity hazards to 5G networks. This could potentially enable threat actors to exploit these vulnerabilities to collect valuable intelligence from victims.”