New Paper Outlines DDoS Threats to 9-1-1 Service
Thursday, March 12, 2020 | Comments

A paper published by IEEE found that distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks launched from a mobile phone botnet pose a significant threat to the availability of 9-1-1 service. The authors are Yisroel Mirsky and Mordechai Guri with Ben Gurion University in Israel.

The paper shows how attackers can launch several types of DDoS attacks from mobile phone botnets. In one of the attacks, the attacker has the botnet randomize all cellular identifiers while issuing emergency calls repeatedly. Because legitimate unidentified emergency calls exist and because the FCC requires such calls to be forwarded, the network and the emergency call centers cannot block these calls technically and legally.

To understand and verify the threat of DDoS attacks on 9-1-1, the paper explores the 9-1-1 infrastructure and implement different forms of the attack on a small cellular network. Finally, to quantify the threat, we simulate and analyze DDoS attacks on a model of current 9-1-1 infrastructure in the U.S.

The paper found that with less than 6K bots (or $100,000 hardware), attackers can block emergency services in an entire state for days. The authors said the paper will assist the respective organizations in preventing possible 9-1-1 DDoS attacks in the future.

More information is here.

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