Wireless Broadband Technologies: Wimax Supported Applications, Wimax Security
c. WiMAX Supported Applications
- Broadband Internet access
- Real time applications
- Video streaming
- VoIP, Video on Demand
- Telemedicine application/Video Conference
- Surveillance and monitoring (forests, volcano, etc.)
- General applications and services based on IP connectivity
- Legacy (no direct signaling capabilities for QoS)
- Need an agent to help them
- Signaling capable: e.g. SIP based
- Possible direct interaction with control plane for QoS reservation
d. WiMAX Security
WiMAX uses Internet Protocol, IP as the core transport mechanism, and as a result, WiMAX security measures need to incorporate not only the traditional security requirements for a wireless telecommunications system, but also those relating to the use of IP systems.
In view of the need for a high level of WiMAX security, the IEEE 802.16 working groups incorporated security measures into the standard during the concept stages to counteract WiMAX security threats. WiMAX security has been embedded into the standard from the beginning rather than being added as an extra at a later stage. By adopting this approach, WiMAX security has been made more effective while being less intrusive to the user.
WiMAX security elements are included in the standard and fall under four main headings:
- Authentication of the user device
- Higher-level user authentication
- Advanced over-the-air encryption
- Methods for securing the control and signaling within an IP scenario
Each of these WiMAX security areas has been addressed within standards, but even so, it is still necessary for the network operators to use good practice to ensure that security is not compromised. It is quite possible to circumvent the best security technology if the correct operating procedures are not in place.
WiMAX security threats
When developing any security system it is necessary to understand the means by which security could be compromised and in this way build in the relevant security measures.
Some of the main threats to WiMAX security are summarized in the table below:
|Type of security attack
||Description / details of the security attack
||This form of WiMAX security issue occurs when a base station is set up to impersonate a base station in the network, either just to a subscriber, or a two way impersonation between the subscriber and the base station.
||This type of security attack takes the form of the attacker capturing user and / or signaling traffic being conveyed over the wireless or the wired elements of the network. These packets can be analyzed and information extracted at a later time.
|Theft of service
||This occurs if users without authorized access are able to access the network and utilize it without payment.
|Denial of service (physical)
||This is achieved by degrading the network performance by physically disrupting the physical elements of the network, e.g. by jamming the radio channels used.
|Denial of service (protocol)
||This form of denial of service involves overloading the network or system resources by introducing new traffic or modifying existing traffic. This happens when Internet websites are maliciously targeted by millions of requests to overload their resources.
||This form of WiMAX security issue occurs if previously valid messages are injected into the system to exhaust resources or lock out valid users.
Although these are broad descriptions for the major forms of WiMAX security issue, they all need to be addressed so that malicious attempts cannot succeed in disrupting he network, obtaining user information or data, or gaining unauthorized access to the network.
WiMAX security measures
The WiMAX standard includes several security protection measures to address and overcome the various WiMAX security threats that are posed to the system. These include mutual device / user authentication techniques, a flexible key management tool, traffic encryption, and control and management message protection.