Cellular networks are essential to modern infrastructure. Not only do they power the daily communications of billions of individuals, they are and will be the primary access medium for over a billion people in developing regions. The newest generation of cellular networks (5G) will not only accelerate current uses of cellular networks, but potentially enable exciting new applications like vehicle-to-vehicle communications, IoT devices, and even remote robotic assisted surgery.

Despite their ubiquity and import, cellular networks present a number of unique security challenges. In this course, we will study in detail how these networks function and the current state of the art of their security. This course provides an in-depth investigation into security issues in areas including cellular air interfaces, core networking (SS7, IMS), cellular data networking, and mobile device architectures. In particular, we will study how these networks provide (or fail to provide) high confidentiality, integrity, availability, authentication, and privacy. A key focus of the course will be how the design philosophy of telephone networks differs from the Internet, complicating traditional security solutions. The security of these networks are poorly understood by computing professionals, making competence in this area a rare and valuable skill.

A detailed list of lecture by lecture contents, assignments, and due dates (subject to change as semester evolves) will be available on the course schedule.

Resources

  • Course announcements and online discussion will take place on Piazza
  • Recordings of lectures is available on Mediasite
  • Homework assignments are submitted via Moodle