WiMAX security issues

Tuesday, 12 December 2006, 11:28 AM EST

A fundamental principle in 802.16 networks is that each subscriber station (SS) must have a X.509 certificate that will uniquely identify the subscriber. The use of X.509 certificates makes it difficult for an attacker to spoof the identity of legitimate subscribers, providing ample protection against theft of service. A fundamental flaw in the authentication mechanism used by WiMAX's privacy and key management (PKM) protocol is the lack of base station (BS) or service provider authentication. This makes WiMAX networks susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks, exposing subscribers to various confidentiality and availability attacks. The 802.16e amendment added support for the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) to WiMAX networks. Support for EAP protocols is currently optional for service providers.

At Computerworld.

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