chapter  15
16 Pages

Analysis of Threats to WiMAX/802.16 Security

WithMichel Barbeau, Christine Laurendeau

This chapter examines threats to the security of the Microwave Access (WiMAX)/802.16 broadband wireless access technology. It provides an analysis of the threats to WiMAX/802.16 security. Threats are analyzed with respect to their likelihood of occurrence, their possible impact on individual users and on the system, and the global risk they represent. The topic of what motivates a computer hacker to conduct attacks has been addressed in the literature in order to devise better countermeasures. A threat carries a high impact for a user if an attack causes a loss of service for a considerable period of time. The chapter describes the frame structure used in the WiMAX/802.16 physical layer and assess the possible threats therein. It deals with the WiMAX/802.16 media access control (MAC) layer, including a description of its connections, the process used by a mobile station for joining the network, and the MAC security model. Critical threats consist of eavesdropping of management messages and base station masquerading.