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SMS attack, or not?

October 9, 2005

A not-so-secret secret about theoretical SMS and network security has surfaced lately and demands a response.

As Bruce Schneier reports, several researchers have published a paper showing that one can theorectically deny cellular voice service over a network using a relatively small scale SMS-based DoS attack. The researchers estimate 165 SMS messages per second could disrupt voice service on a targeted network throughout Manhattan. In theory, this throughput level is something one broadband connected computer might accomplish.

The problem with the theory, however, is that it doesn’t take into account the realities of the GSM network side of the equation.

In practice, carrier infrastructure and policies actually render this theoretical attack just that, theoretical.

Nice try, guys, but no dice.


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One Comment
  1. Thanks for your mention.
    The truth is that this kind of attack has never been seen in the rest of the world, I don’t think will happen in USA.

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