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Abstract

Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications are increasingly popular over cellular networks, due to their unlimited potential and the low cost of deployment. As a result, M2M infrastructures are attractive targets to attackers. For instance, hackers may use a water meter to browse the web over a mobile network. Given the expected tremendous growth of the M2M market within the next few years, such attacks can have a devastating impact on the economics of mobile broadband. However, prior studies in the area of fraud have not considered the inherent properties of cellular M2M deployments. In this paper, we demonstrate how hijacking attacks apply to contemporary networks, and provide a solution for mitigating them. In particular, we propose a novel framework for detecting and preventing M2M device hijacking. Our solution is novel in two main ways: 1) It is network centric, and 2) it completely avoids the use of overhead-intensive cryptographic functions. © 2012 Alcatel-Lucent.