Security analysis of OpenRadio and SoftRAN with STRIDE framework: Presentation held at International Workshop on Manageability and Security of Network Function Virtualization and Software Defined Network (MASONS) at ICCCN 2015

AuthorMagin, Daniel; Khondoker, Rahamatullah; Bayarou, Kpatcha
TypeConference Paper, Electronic Publication, Presentation
AbstractThe field of mobile communication is a fast evolving area. New protocols and technologies are developed, for example, LTE or MIMO. However, problems arise in implementing and managing these technologies, for example, today a Radio Access Network (RAN) provider buys new hardware for each new standard. For speeding up this process and generating new optimization possibilities such as dynamic prioritizing of traffic, the use of SDN can become a handy. However, cellular networks are a very critical and complex infrastructure, therefore, they should be managed automatically. Several tools are summarized here that provide SDN features for wireless networks. Some of these tools are Odin, OpenWiFi, OpenRoads and SDNAN. Since none of these tools focus on cellular networks, we concentrate on OpenRadio and SoftRAN in this paper, specifically, the security of these technologies is evaluated and suggestions to improve their security are given. Both of these tools were developed to improve manageability of cellular networks. OpenRadio implements radio protocol stacks for GSM, LTE or Wi-Fi technologies in software and makes it easy to upgrade and optimize base stations without the need to change their hardware. SoftRAN abstracts several base stations in the same geographical area into one logical base station. This provides optimization over different base stations, including avoiding interference between them. The result of the survey of OpenRadio and SoftRAN is, that both tools do not consider any security aspects in their design proposals. However, by implementing standard security features, including encryption and message authentication, these gaps can be closed easily. The main difficulty when implementing security features in applications like OpenRadio or SoftRAN is to meet hard time constraints. These time constraint come from requirements of the physical layer like timeouts, which would lead to connection losses.
ConferenceInternational Conference on Computer Communications and Networks (ICCCN) <24, 2015, Las Vegas/Nev.>