White Paper


Messaging for the Future: Securing SMS in 5G

Exploring the potential security consequences for SMS in 5G.

In the wake of the migration to 5G mobile networks, SMS represents a critical part of telecoms operators’ 5G offering. In this white paper, Enea AdaptiveMobile Security digs into the SMS technology, determining the security implications to consider for SMS as mobile operators roll out 5G networks and migrate subscribers to the next generation of mobile networks.

This whitepaper will take a look at:

  • How SMS in 5G works
  • Security risks of SMS and attack scenarios, in both the current and next generation of mobile networks
  • How to protect networks and subscribers using SMS over 5G


“Rumours of the demise of SMS have been greatly exaggerated, in particular in the A2P market where we continue to see strong growth. SMS holds and will continue to hold significant and considerable advantages to Over-the-Top messaging services. Despite all the new features of 5G, SMS’s ability to reach every mobile device in the world makes it a powerful tool for mobile operators and brands, both today but also for the foreseeable future. However, securing SMS over 5G is a complex combination of dealing with legacy technology, while also integrating with the new demands and network designs that 5G brings. Mobile network operators must ensure they are fully aware of the potential threats and how to best mitigate them both today and in the future as they migrate to 5G.”

Cathal McDaid, CTO Enea AdaptiveMobile Security
Messaging for the Future: Securing SMS in 5G

Most of the common SMS attacks today will continue to exist in 5G, due to the heavy usage of legacy systems and the fact that attackers will continue to be incentivized to attack mobile phone users. In particular, we expect the following attacks to continue:
-Unsolicited SMS Messaging
-SMS Phishing/Smishing
-Premium SMS Fraud
-Mobile Malware propagation
-Surveillance and Information Retrieval
Denial of Service
-SMS Interception
-Grey Routes

 5G also introduced new security challenges such with the introduction of:
-Cloud & virtualization
-Partner access to core e.g., MEC, NEF or slicing

Why securing SMS in 5G will be so important?

SMS will continue to be an important functionality on 5G networks. Despite previous predictions around the demise of SMS and the reduction of Person-to-Person (P2P) messaging on the channel; there has been a significant increase in Application to Person (A2P) SMS traffic enabling businesses to have digital conversations with their customers. Reports project the global A2P SMS market to reach US$74.7 Billion by the year 2026.

5G Network Slicing Security

Access the white paper now!

White Paper cover: Messaging for the Future: Securing SMS in 5G

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