Internet security meets the IP multimedia subsystem: an overview



In this paper, we discuss the security threats of next-generation telecommunication core networks induced by the adoption of Internet technology. The 3GPP IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) is based on the Internet protocol (IP) and hence inherits many security problems from the Internet world. We provide a review of the most prominent vulnerabilities, covering both fundamental functions like routing and name resolution as well as message tampering and implementation attacks, and we show their impact on the IMS. Further, we address the topics of denial of service (DoS) attacks and unsolicited communication (UC). Despite the large number of security threats, the IMS standardization foresees no security monitoring and fully relies on standard countermeasures as known from the Internet. This paper provides a survey of these threats and relates them to the available solutions. We motivate the need for a powerful and modular monitoring platform for the IMS and provide an overview of the existing work in this research field. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.