Title: An enhanced NPA protocol for secure communications in GSM network

Authors: Neetesh Saxena; Narendra S. Chaudhari

Addresses: Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Indore, India ' Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Indore, India

Abstract: Mobile communication is a very rapidly growing technology of the telecommunication industry. Nowadays, it is possible to make and receive calls independent of location and time just because of mobile communication over the network. With its attractive features like providing access to users at anytime and anywhere in the world, mobile communication has been very popular among the users and service providers. However, despite of several advantages, mobile communication has also been facing many security problems. 2G GSM architecture has several problems including unidirectional authentication and extra storage is needed for VLR to store authentication information. Existing algorithms A3, A8 and A5 are also vulnerable to various attacks like Man-in-the-Middle attack, Reply attack, DoS attack, Interleave attack etc. This paper deals with the problems of original 2G GSM architecture and attacks with existing algorithms. The authors propose three new algorithms COMP (NPA3/NPA8) and NPA5 which prevent the GSM network from various attacks. With these algorithms and change in mechanism, mutual authentication is provided between the MS and BS and there is no need to have extra storage for VLR.

Keywords: GSM networks; man-in-the-middle attack; DoS attack; denial of service; network security; COMP; secure communications; mobile communications; cyber attacks; NPA protocol; mutual authentication.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSN.2013.055045

International Journal of Security and Networks, 2013 Vol.8 No.1, pp.13 - 28

Published online: 12 Jul 2013 *

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