Possible Security issues and risks using WiMax
WiMax is quite discussed broadband technology which is yet be deployed properly in many parts of the world, it is been used effectively in few parts of world for delivering high speed internet connectivity over longer distances. This feature is making it popular to internet and telecommunication services. WiMax was developed because security issues in older technology WiFi 802.11. WiMax vendors and standard setters realized the importance of the security therefore, 802.16 working groups was designed considering several mechanisms to protect the network and the customers privacy from unauthorized access. Below are few wimax security claus.
An important and creative feature incorporated in 802.16 network is that each SS, (subscriber station) must have X.509 certificate, this certificate will identify the subscriber uniquely, attackers will not be able to get into the legitimate subscribers list by spoofing their identity because of X.509 certificate. X.509 hence provides enough security against major threats to services. However, lacking in base stations and service provider authentication leaves a big loop whole in the authentication mechanism used by WiMax privacy and key management (PKM), this expose WiMax subscribers to different confidentiality and availability attacks by unauthorized users. To protect from such vulnerability, amendments where made in 802.16 standards. Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) was introduced in 802.16e.
Introduction of 802.16e and support for the AES provide the strong support of confidentially of data traffic. 802.16 has same issue just like 802.11 management frames are not encrypted, that increases the chances for attackers or intruders to collect information about subscribers and network.
WiMAX uses licensed Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum, which provides protection from unauthorized access to some extent. There are tools available which are easy to use for jamming the spectrum from all planned WiMAX deployments. Along with physical layer denial of service attacks, intruders can use legacy management frames to disconnect the current legitimate network connections.
With all efforts to make WiMAX a very secure technology, there are still several potential attacks which are threats to WiMAX usabilit few of them are DOS attacks, Rogue Base Stations, Man in the middle attacks, spoofing of management frames etc. The actual testing of WiMAX security will come into play when WiMAX provider begins wide scale network deployment. This will give attackers good chance and better exposure to manipulate the network security, and access CPE equipment. Until the proper deployment of WiMax technology, Security issues are just speculations.