Analyzing TETRA Location Privacy and Network Availability

AuthorPfeiffer, Martin; Kwiotek, Jan-Pascal; Classen, Jiska; Klose, Robin; Hollick, Matthias
TypeConference Proceedings
AbstractTETRA is a digital communication standard taking over from analog communication in various emergency services and governmental agencies in Europe since the late 1990s. TETRA has to meet stringent requirements for a dependable communication infrastructure as it is used in the public safety sector by professional users and first responders. In fact, TETRA is claimed to enhance resilience, security, and availability compared to former analog communication standards. In this paper, we demonstrate that TETRA's location privacy and dependability can easily be undermined and weakened. In particular, TETRA devices can be localized by means of antenna arrays and direction finding techniques on the physical layer. Further, we practically evaluate the impact of various jamming and fuzzing attacks on two commonly used devices. The digital standard even raises new attack vectors, since regular beaconing enables localization of idle devices, and forged frames can provably crash devices.
Conference6th Workshop on Security and Privacy in Smartphones and Mobile Devices
SerieSPSM '16