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Can someone tell me whether or not Verizon Wireless's LTE network has an IDS/IPS capability? I'm trying to compare the security of their CDMA/LTE network to others that are GSM.

EDIT for clarity: I mean intrusion detection capabilities that would detect an outside attacker that is attempting to attack a VZW device. For instance: someone trying to guess the password for voicemail or spoofing an SMS from a device. I don't know if they exist but are there network attacks you can also defend against like an attacker doing something on the LTE network itself?

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Intrusion of what into where from whom? – Steve Jan 18 '13 at 0:12
I'm going to guess that since Verizon publishes an annual Data Breach Investigations Report, they've probably got something. – Jeff Ferland Jan 18 '13 at 1:30
Added a few more details. I believe the Verizon DBIR doesn't focus too much on the Verizon Wireless stuff. At least I didn't find any details in there. – Lizbeth Jan 18 '13 at 14:06
They use location information (from cell towers) NAM-phone number associations, encryption, and model-NAM associations to identify host (phone) on the network. If I was to guess about other IDS/IPS systems, I'd say definitely. EDIT: Also, LTE is technically just the data transmission standards, I believe. So, it's an IP network. Also, apps exist, and users can write apps. – gal Feb 10 '13 at 5:05
These days all isp's have both ips and ids systems of some sort as a general standard. As Ruief said it is applicable to all communication types as they hit the same control boxes and mainframes – chrisc Apr 8 '13 at 11:59

If you're talking about intrusion prevention in general, the answer has little to do with the wireless part of the network. Trying to "guess the password for voicemail" doesn't even require an antenna, on either end. Dig?

In any case, there is all kinds of security in these networks. Understanding the wireless standards, the PSTN, service policies, relevant laws, regulations, industry practices, and common sense will tell you much about what the big providers are doing for security. However if you want to actually compare the security practices and features of different operators' networks, there are basically only 2 ways to get that depth of information:

  • Get a job doing security at the network operator
  • Attempt to break their security yourself

Any claims made outside these 2 contexts should be considered marketing or hearsay.

TL;DR: Verizon has a huge in-house IDS/IPS system that is already broken by Chinese hackers. Maybe.

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