White Paper

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Spectrum of Violence: Mobile Network-enabled Attacks in Hybrid Warfare

Cyber Warfare Against National Critical Infrastructure

Use of Mobile Network attacks as part of a warfare strategy

In this white paper, Enea AdaptiveMobile Security outlines emerging mobile network attack strategies in Hybrid Warfare including a newly revealed HiddenArt mobile threat actor. 

This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the usage of mobile networks for various cyber-attacks as part of a warfare strategy.

  • Introducing what Hybrid warfare is, and the role that cyber-attacks play in it.
  • Describing the types of threats encountered on mobile core networks today.
  • Outlining how attacks on mobile networks, as part of a hybrid warfare strategy, could happen.
  • Reviewing previous history of the usage of mobile networks for surveillance, call interception and Denial of Service incidents
  • Sharing details of recent attacks by a signaling threat actor/platform we call HiddenArt
  • Providing a list of recommendations for mobile operators, regulators, and government agencies on how to protect critical communication network infrastructure from weaponization by state-level threat actors, surveillance companies, and attacks by Organized Crime Groups (OCGs).

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
-Sun Tzu

 

“Malicious mobile network signaling attacks must be recognized as a state-level cyber threat to individual nations as well as to collective security, and an integral component of hybrid warfare. Mobile Networks form part of the Critical National Infrastructure of a state, we aim to highlight the increasingly profound implications of vulnerabilities in insufficiently-protected telecom network infrastructure for the security and stability of societies, economies, and states into the future.”

Rowland Corr, VP of Government Relations, Enea AdaptiveMobile Security
Why is hybrid warfare a threat to national security?

Hybrid wars aim to undermine the target through military and non-military attacks such as cyberattacks against vulnerable telecom network infrastructures, representing a serious threat to the security and stability of countries, their economies and people into the future.

What forms can cyber warfare attacks on mobile networks take?

Threat actors can attack core network vulnerabilities to attain and further amplify advantage in offensive military operations. The form that cyber network attacks can take varies, but at a high level the following are possible:
-Surveillance/location tracking
-Message/Call/Data Interception
-Fraud (against the operator or the subscriber) Phishing* (malware delivery)
-Denial of Service
-Information harvesting

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