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Mobile Devices - Future Security Threats & Vulnerabilities
Sklikas V, Clarke NL
Advances in Network & Communication Engineering 3, pp100-108, 2006
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The success of the Internet technologies made telephony companies realise the advantages of the adoption of IP technologies over circuit switched networks. Now both the telecommunication and Internet technologies converge and integrate for the creation of an ‘all-IP’ wireless infrastructure, able to support mobile data and multimedia applications, resulting in making available all known Internet services to the forthcoming wireless networks. However, beyond the numerous benefits that arise, factors such as mobility, the compact size of the various mobile devices, the ease of their connectivity and their open nature increase the threats and the risks being posed, rendering the future wireless security an increasing problem. This paper reviews the threats introduced by traditional networking technologies and examines the way in which they could be adopted by the wireless technology, investigating possible threat scenarios and taking into consideration future technology capabilities.

Mobile technologies are a target for many threats that exist in traditional wired networks, in addition to many wireless specific threats. The underlying communications medium is open to intruders and is easier to eavesdrop as no physical access is required. Unauthorised access to a network through wireless connections, by bypassing any firewall protection, interception of unencrypted information, and the tracking of the mobile users are some of the most critical threats concerning the owners and the users of mobile networks and devices.

This paper introduces a number of network topologies and discusses the relatively advantages and disadvantages of implementing each. Generally security of mobile devices can be viewed from a central server or network centric perspective, managed by trusted third party authorities, offering security at the network and covering all security tasks needed on the devices with no end-user interaction.

Sklikas V, Clarke NL