Home / Technology / Comm. & NW / DARPA MICEE to monitor and detect malicious activities in 5G/mobile infrastructure devices.

DARPA MICEE to monitor and detect malicious activities in 5G/mobile infrastructure devices.

The New York Times reported  that the US government has defined 5G competition as a “new arms race.” According to the report, “whichever country dominates 5G will gain an economic, intelligence and military edge for much of this century.” The transition to 5G is a revolution and “this will be almost more important than electricity,” an analyst was quoted by the report as saying. As noted in the Department of Defense 5G Strategy, “5G is a critical strategic technology: those nations that master advanced communications technologies and ubiquitous connectivity will have a long-term economic and military advantage.”

 

China is the world leader in 5G communications, and two of its telecommunications companies, Huawei and ZTE, dominate world sales and are building 5G networks in several nations. The companies’ connections to the Chinese military have prompted a handful of nations, including the United States, to ban their technology because of security concerns.

 

5G is important to DoD because it offers higher performance and additional capabilities, particularly for data driven applications and for machine-to-machine communication. These capabilities will become the foundation for a new networked way of war that brings together sensors and machines that will revolutionize the battlespace and the logistics and support functions behind the front lines. DoD must have access to a 5G defense industrial base that provides trustworthy 5G technologies.

 

The coming 5G standard will offer towering benefits, such as enhanced speed and performance, lower latency, and better efficiency. But it will also come with risks. Although 5G is susceptible to many of the same cybersecurity risks found in today’s existing telecommunications and enterprise networks, it’s also subject to new avenues of attack against core network services due to a more complex ecosystem of technologies and operations.

 

5G is important to DoD because it offers higher performance and additional capabilities, particularly for data driven applications and for machine-to-machine communication. These capabilities will become the foundation for a new networked way of war that brings together sensors and machines that will revolutionize the battlespace and the logistics and support functions behind the front lines. DoD must have access to a 5G defense industrial base that provides trustworthy 5G technologies.

 

The coming 5G standard will offer towering benefits, such as enhanced speed and performance, lower latency, and better efficiency. But it will also come with risks. Although 5G is susceptible to many of the same cybersecurity risks found in today’s existing telecommunications and enterprise networks, it’s also subject to new avenues of attack against core network services due to a more complex ecosystem of technologies and operations.

 

As more enterprises adopt private 5G networks and multi-access edge computing (MEC), this transition provides new opportunities for attacks. To secure these new environments, you can now use the industry’s only 5G-native security to deploy a Zero Trust-based architecture.

 

Secure communications using foreign 5G infrastructure is becoming necessary for US forces deployed abroad. However, its use raises many security concerns, even in friendly or neutral environments, not least due to the impact of outsourced manufacturing. To reduce the cost and time-to-market, many companies adapted their manufacturing models and design flow, and started using the Intellectual Property (IP) of third-party companies and outsourced the fabrication of their hardware to offshore foundries.

 

When combined with use of non-US 5G telecoms, the lack of assurance on supply chain and system management creates a very high risk of a malicious cyber adversary impacting operations at a time and manner of their choosing.

 

DARPA launched Mobile Infrastructure Compliance in Expeditionary Environments (MICEE) in Sep 2022, to explore novel approaches and develop prototypes to passively/non-intrusively monitor and detect malicious
activities in non-owned 5G/mobile infrastructure devices. MICEE is interested in different hardware/software monitoring or verification methods that can radically improve security outcomes in critical infrastructure for Blue and Grey terrain environments.

 

MICEE is intended to provide easy-to-field monitoring solutions. The hardware/software/component verification or monitoring may be performed periodically, one-time or continuously based on the criticality of the monitored system.

Performers are expected to develop systems that will alert military system users about adversarial or anomalous activities detected on non-owned 5G network infrastructure elements. Additionally, MICEE prototypes should help validate both the hardware and the software of integrated systems during acceptance testing.

 

The program seeks breakthrough approaches to various technical challenges, including but not limited to:
• developing effective tools and algorithms to support one-time, periodic, and continuous monitoring schemes;
• creating models to differentiate modified and unaltered systems;
• software/hardware validation of critical infrastructure before and after deployment;
• developing prototypes and non-intrusive, low-overhead monitoring schemes for easy and secure deployment of monitoring systems;
• minimizing the connection/communication between the monitoring and monitored devices;
• detecting hardware/software trojans with no reverse-engineering techniques; and,
• developing monitoring methods for the devices that are operating at high frequency and have an air-gapped nature.

About Rajesh Uppal

Check Also

Revolutionizing Disaster Response: The Role of Low-Bandwidth Remote Situational Awareness Communications Mesh Networks

Introduction: Disasters, whether natural or man-made, demand swift and effective response strategies. One of the …

error: Content is protected !!