Modeling and analysis of RRC-based signalling storms in 3G networks

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Title: Modeling and analysis of RRC-based signalling storms in 3G networks
Authors: Gorbil, G
Abdelrahman, OH
Pavloski, M
Gelenbe, E
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Mobile networks are vulnerable to signaling attacks and storms that are caused by traffic patterns that overload the control plane, and differ from distributed denial of service attacks in the Internet since they directly affect the control plane, and also reserve wireless bandwidth and network resources without actually using them. Such storms can result from malware and mobile botnets, as well as from poorly designed applications, and can cause service outages in 3G and 4G networks, which have been experienced by mobile operators. Since the radio resource control (RRC) protocol in the 3G and 4G networks is particularly susceptible to such storms, we analyze their effect with a mathematical model that helps to predict the congestion that is caused by a storm. A detailed simulation model of a mobile network is used to better understand the temporal dynamics of user behavior and signaling in the network and to show how RRC-based signaling attacks and storms cause significant problems in both the control and user planes of the network. Our analysis also serves to identify how storms can be detected, and to propose how system parameters can be chosen to mitigate their effect.
Issue Date: 6-Jan-2015
Date of Acceptance: 30-Dec-2014
ISSN: 2168-6750
Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Start Page: 113
End Page: 127
Journal / Book Title: IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing
Volume: 4
Issue: 1
Copyright Statement: © 2015 The Authors. Published by IEEE. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. For more information, see
Sponsor/Funder: Commission of the European Communities
Commission of the European Communities
European Commission
Funder's Grant Number: 610764
317888 - NEMESYS
ICT-2013.1.2 - Software Engineering, Services and Cloud Computing
Keywords: Science & Technology
Computer Science, Information Systems
Computer Science
Network attacks
app malfunctions
UMTS networks
radio resource control
signalling overload
performance analysis
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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