September 30, 2013

Inside Mobile Internet Security

Introduction
The mobile Internet has truly gone global. An estimated 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions were reported globally at the end of 2012 [1]. That’s the equivalent of 96 percent of the world’s population being connected via a mobile device. And it represents a huge increase on the 6.0 billion subscribers reported just 12 months prior [2].

As cellular networks grow, so do the number and frequency of mobile internet connections; posing a new set of challenges for the IT Security community. While many of us are familiar with the architecture of the regular Internet – twisted pairs, Ethernet, TCP/IP – the architecture behind the mobile Internet is less widely understood, leaving users vulnerable to the actions of hackers with only a slightly better level of knowledge.

In this post, Positive Research, the research division of Positive Technologies, will demystify the mobile internet by explaining its general principles, take a deeper look at the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Tunneling Protocol, discuss the GPRS Roaming Exchange (GRX) Network and demonstrate some practical issues that arise when attempting to secure a mobile network.