Subscriber ID Security in a 4G Network

Secure your 4G traffic with Security policy rules that specify source subscriber identifiers.
4G/LTE mobile networks are used by billions of subscribers worldwide, increasingly to connect the Internet of Things. This evolution needs context-aware security in the network to prevent financial and operational risks for service providers and enterprise customers using private 4G networks. Malware that infects User Equipment (UE), including smart phones, tablets, laptops connected via a dongle, and cellular IoT devices, could prevent the UE from accessing the mobile network and could be part of a botnet launching an attack against the mobile network infrastructure.
The impact of such malware to the customer includes battery exhaustion damage to the device, degraded service, excessive billing, and more. The impact to the service provider can include customer churn, help desk calls, billing issues, excessive use of network resources by infected subscribers and devices, and more. Detection of these threats in 4G/LTE mobile networks requires identification of infected subscribers; prevention requires the ability to apply network security based on subscriber ID, which is an International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI).
You can now apply network security based on the subscriber identity of a user who is trying to access your 4G network. Security policy rules and correlation based on 4G IMSI are supported on:
  • PA-7000 Series firewalls
  • PA-5200 Series firewalls
  • VM-700, VM-500, VM-300, and VM-100 firewalls
  1. Enable GTP security, commit, and reboot the firewall.
  2. Enable inspection of 4G GTPv2-C control packets and content inspection of GTP-U packets; create a Mobile Network Protection profile.
  3. Create address objects for the IP addresses assigned to the network elements in your topology, such as in deployment option 1: the MME on the S11 interface, the eNB on the S1-U interface, and the SGW on the S1-U and S11 interface; or deployment option 2: the SGW on the S5/S8 interface and PGW on the S5/S8 interface.
  4. (
    Optional
    ) Create an External Dynamic List (EDL) of Type
    Subscriber Identity List
    ; the
    Source
    of the list provides access to a server that provides identifiers of subscribers connected to the 4G network, for which you want to allow traffic.
  5. Create a Security policy rule that applies your Mobile Network Protection profile to application traffic.
    1. Select
      Policies
      Security
      and
      Add
      a Security policy rule.
    2. For
      Source Address
      ,
      Add
      the address objects for the 4G network elements you want to allow.
      4g-sec-pol-destination.png
    3. Add
      Destination Addresses
      for the 4G network elements you want to allow.
    4. Add
      the
      Applications
      to allow, such as
      gtp-u
      for the user plane and
      gtpv2-c
      for control plane traffic.
    5. Select
      Action
      to
      Allow
      ; select the
      Mobile Network Protection
      profile you created.
  6. Create another Security policy rule based on Subscriber ID. Most notably:
    1. Add
      one or more
      Source Subscriber
      IDs in any of the following formats (if you configured an EDL, specify that EDL in this step):
      • IMSI (14 or 15 digits)
      • Range of IMSI values separated by a hyphen
      • IMSI prefix of six digits, with an asterisk (*) as the wildcard after the prefix; for example, 926789*
      • External dynamic list (EDL) that specifies IMSIs
    2. Add
      the
      Applications
      to allow, for example,
      youtube
      ,
      facebook
      ,
      linkedin
      , and
      twitter
      .
      5g-subscriber-id-apps.png
  7. Commit
    .

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