CSPs are well positioned to capture a clearly defined opportunity by meeting their customers’ unmet need for protection against growing threats, such as phishing and malware, and for parental control to ensure their children’s online safety, an Allot survey reveals. Wireless subscribers want device security protection 28% of subscribers said they would definitely switch service providers to obtain a superior cybersecurity solution. Another 40% said they would likely switch providers for better cybersecurity. Telecom providers … More
The post Consumers would like to view internet connectivity as a trusted utility appeared first on Help Net Security.
Business support systems (BSS) are necessary to provide the fast-changing requirements in 5G and enhance customer experiences, a Frost & Sullivan research reveals.
They also help communication service providers (CSPs) deliver personalized service experiences for consumers and businesses.
BSS market could experience a slowdown
Vendors have introduced advanced BSS features, including the ability to support flexible deployments (core and edge) and options for network slice lifecycle management, which are critical in helping CSPs deliver on multi-partner business models.
However, due to COVID-19, the global BSS market is estimated to experience a slowdown in the short term, whereas the long-term outlook remains positive.
“It is evident that BSS can significantly drive efforts to help organizations address key concerns such as introducing digital services and enabling customers to personalize their service experience,” said Vikrant Gandhi, Senior Industry Director, Information & Communication Technologies at Frost & Sullivan.
“However, businesses from across many other industry verticals are still relatively early in their digitization efforts and are facing issues similar to those of CSPs in the early days of their digital transformation efforts.”
Gandhi added: “Given the evolving situation, it is more critical than ever for wireless networks to function reliably and support the connectivity requirements across the board. BSS vendors are supporting existing 4G (and earlier generations) network services that currently drive the majority of their revenue.
“Going forward, while the wireless industry remains a priority for BSS vendors, they are also able to align BSS solutions to meet the needs of communications, financial services, healthcare, and media and entertainment companies, as well as government entities.”
BSS vendors can partner with CSPs to create immense growth prospects
- Pioneer new price plans and partner-based business models such as B2B, B2C, and B2B2X for 5G success.
- Introduce AI-driven BSS and customer experience solutions that help CSPs deliver differentiated 5G services.
- Leverage cloud-native principles and support flexible deployments (core and edge) to help operators monetize different features of the network and create new opportunities.
- Implement a robust 5G policy that can set performance characteristics, including quality of service (QoS) and latency. With 5G, the policy can control networks and services down to the device level to ensure the best customer experience while managing valuable network resources.
5G is set to deliver higher data transfer rates for mission-critical communications and will allow massive broadband capacities, enabling high-speed communication across various applications such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence.
According to a study from CommScope, only 46% of respondents feel their current network infrastructure is capable of supporting 5G, but 68% think 5G will have a significant impact on their agency operations within one to four years.
Of the respondents who do not feel their current infrastructure is capable of supporting 5G, none have deployed 5G, 19% are piloting, 43% are planning to pilot, and 52% are not planning or evaluating whether to pilot 5G.
Costs reported as top barriers to 5G implementation
According to the report, ongoing and initial costs are reported as top barriers for federal agencies wishing to implement 5G – 44% believe initial/up-front costs will be the biggest barrier and 49% are concerned about ongoing costs.
“This study indicates that federal agencies are at the beginning stages of 5G evaluation and deployment. As they are looking to finalize their strategy for connectivity, agencies should also consider private networks, whether those are private LTE networks, private 5G networks, or a migration from one to the other to ensure flexibility and scalability.”
Desired outcomes for federal agencies
Remote employee productivity (40%) is one of the top desired outcomes for federal agencies looking to implement 5G, along with introducing high bandwidth (39%), higher throughput (39%) and better connectivity (38%).
Additional findings from the study include:
- 32% hope that 5G will make it easier to share information securely and 32% would like to see easier access to data
- 82% plan to or have already adopted 5G with 6% having already deployed 5G, 14% piloting 5G and 62% evaluating/planning to pilot 5G
- 71% are looking at hardware, software or endpoint upgrades to support 5G
- 83% believe it is very/somewhat important for mission-critical traffic on the agency network to remain onsite while 64% feel it is very/somewhat important
Policymakers should focus on five critical success factors in order to ensure the US continues to build its emerging 5G economy, according to a report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Drawing on an in-depth analysis of the factors that secured America’s leadership of the 4G economy, the study concludes that spectrum availability and wireless network deployments, along with broader economic factors such as a pro-investment and innovation business climate, private sector R&D, and workforce readiness are key to expanding a country’s 5G penetration rate and 5G-powered economic growth.
“A country’s 5G progress shouldn’t be based on misleading snapshots in time such as the number of 5G subscribers or the amount of 5G base stations deployed in a given quarter,” said Enrique Duarte Melo, a BCG managing director and senior partner and lead author of the report.
“Policymakers should instead look at how these factors—network coverage, spectrum availability, the quality of the innovation ecosystem, business climate, and technology talent—will blend together to drive 5G penetration and make 5G use cases widely available throughout society.”
Spectrum is the foundation of mobile wireless service, and particularly for 5G networks, providers need a mix of low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum.
The study finds that the US has made significant amounts of low- and high-band spectrum available, but lags in crucial midband spectrum.
Widespread network deployment is critical to laying the foundations of a 5G economy and achieving high levels of wireless penetration—the number of active 5G subscribers per capita.
The study finds that US telecom companies have invested seven times more than Chinese companies and that from 2020 to 2025, US operators are expected to invest over $250 billion to build 5G networks, more than any other country.
Strong R&D investment and IP protection will help spur the development of innovative new 5G services as well as cross-industry collaboration.
The study finds that US technology and telecom companies spend significantly more on R&D, as a percentage of sales, than other global competitors. On an absolute basis, US wireless companies invest five times as much as Chinese companies.
Capital expenditures and investment and an openness to risk-taking, combined with business-friendly policies, will create an environment conducive to wireless innovation and entrepreneurship.
The study finds that the US ranks in the top three nations on key drivers of new business creation and ranks first for entrepreneurship. It’s also home to 12 of the world’s top 30 cities for startups and serves as a startup hub for key 5G technologies like artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.
A workforce with digital and technical skills will provide countries the expertise to build state-of-the-art wireless networks and develop new 5G applications.
The study finds that the US’s ability to attract the best global talent has promoted innovation and that training and retraining employees in tech-related certifications and degrees will be critical.
Further, the study finds that that the foremost impact of 5G will be the services and applications unlocked by powerful and ubiquitous 5G networks.
Army researchers have been awarded a patent for inventing a practical method for Army wireless devices to covertly authenticate and communicate. Photo by Jason Edwards Securing Army wireless devices Authentication is one of the core pillars of wireless communications security, along with secrecy and privacy. The value of authentication in a military setting is readily apparent and mandatory. Receivers verify that an incoming transmission did indeed come from an ally and not a malicious adversary, … More
5G progress in connections and deployments continues despite the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn according to 5G Americas.
According to data from Omdia, there are now over 63.6 million 5G connections globally as of Q1 2020, which represents 308.66% growth over Q4 2019.
Chris Pearson, President, 5G Americas said, “Globally, 5G remains the fast-growing generation of wireless cellular technology ever, even as the world is gripped with a pandemic. In North America, we are seeing consistent, strong uptake of new 5G subscribers as new devices have been released that can take advantage of low-band and millimeter wave frequencies. At the same time, new network capabilities are being added.”
The impact of COVID-19
Globally, there are now 82 5G commercial networks, a number which is expected to more than double to 206 by the end of 2020. In addition, there are now over 100 commercial 5G device models available globally, with increasing support for low-band, mid-band and millimeter (mmWave) frequency bands.
Despite global strength in the number of 5G network rollouts, regional differences are beginning to emerge due to the localized impacts of the pandemic.
According to Jose Otero, Vice President of Latin America and Caribbean, 5G Americas, “The impact of COVID-19 is finally being felt Latin America’s and Caribbean’s telecom industry. The decrease in remittances arriving from Europe and North America together with the mandatory lockdowns imposed by many regional governments decreased the purchasing power of a large percentage of the population.”
5G connections by region
Regionally by the end of Q1 2020, North America had 1.18 million 5G connections and 494 million LTE connections. This amounted to 100% growth in 5G, a gain of 591 thousand 5G connections over the quarter and 2.34% growth in LTE, a gain of 11.3 million LTE connections over the quarter.
For Latin America and the Caribbean, Q1 2020 saw 3004 5G subscriptions (142.85% Q4 2019 to Q1 2020 growth) and 372 million LTE subscriptions (3% Q4 2019 to Q1 2020 growth), respectively.
Looking ahead, 5G connections are projected to reach 238 million globally by the end of 2020, of which North America will account for 10 million connections. According to Kristin Paulin, Senior Analyst at Omdia, “We expect growth to pick up in the second half of the year, following the easing of lockdowns as well as continued 5G network expansion and the availability of more 5G devices.”
Latin America and the Caribbean will account for an additional 270 thousand connections by the end of the year. Global 4G LTE connections remain strong and are expected to reach 5.7 billion, of which 506 million (4.8% annual growth) will come from North America and 404 million (11.8% annual growth) will come from Latin America and the Caribbean.
To minimize the impact of the pandemic, some governments in Latin America and the Caribbean have made adjustments to communications services taxes and terms.
In addition, Otero says “The lack of devices due to global logistic obstacles has resulted in negative subscriber growth and slower uptake of newer technologies. It is expected that until the situation normalizes all spectrum assignment processes would be delayed and that no new networks would be launched during this period.”
5G progress: Connections by numbers
Overall, the following number of networks using wireless technologies have been deployed as of June 15, 2020.
- 5G: 82
- LTE Advanced: 328
- LTE: 677
- 5G: 7
- LTE Advanced: 9
- LTE: 20
Latin America & Caribbean:
- 5G: 5
- LTE Advanced: 50
- LTE: 127
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a mathematical formula that, computer simulations suggest, could help 5G and other wireless networks select and share communications frequencies about 5,000 times more efficiently than trial-and-error methods. NIST engineer Jason Coder makes mathematical calculations for a machine learning formula that may help 5G and other wireless networks select and share communications frequencies efficiently The novel formula is a form of machine learning that … More
The post A math formula could help 5G networks efficiently share communications frequencies appeared first on Help Net Security.
At the end of 2019 there were 7.6 billion active IoT devices, a figure which will grow to 24.1 billion in 2030, a CAGR of 11%, according to a research published by Transforma Insights.
Short range technologies, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee, will dominate connections, accounting for 72% in 2030, largely unchanged compared to the 74% it accounts for today.
Public networks growth
Public networks, which are dominated by cellular networks, will grow from 1.2 billion connections to 4.7 billion in 2030, growing market share from 16% to 20%. Private networks account for the balance of connections, 10% in 2019 and 8% in 2030.
In revenue terms, the total IoT market in 2019 was worth $465 billion, a figure which will rise to $1.5 trillion in 2030. Services, including connectivity, will account for 66% of spend, with the remainder accounted for by hardware, in the form of active IoT devices, modules and gateways.
The consumer sector to dominate in terms of connected devices and finance
The consumer sector will dominate in terms of connected devices, accounting for 65% of all connections, up from 62% in 2019. Of the enterprise segment in 2030, 34% of devices will be accounted for by ‘cross-vertical’ use cases such as generic track-and-trace, office equipment and fleet vehicles, 31% by utilities, most prominently smart meters, 5% by transport and logistics, 4% by government, 4% for agriculture, and 3% each for financial services and retail/wholesale.
The single biggest use case is Consumer Internet & Media devices, accounting for 1/3 of all devices in 2030. The next largest is Smart Grid, including smart meters, representing 14% of connections. Connected Vehicles, dominated by connected cars, is the third biggest category, representing 7% of the global installed base.
In financial terms, the biggest vertical sector is consumer, generating $652 billion in revenue, or 43% of the total market value. Cross-vertical applications account for 24%. The remaining 33% is sector-specific applications across sectors such as energy, transport, retail and healthcare.
“One of the benefits of building a highly granular set of forecasts is that we can uncover striking trends, such as the huge $500 billion revenue opportunity associated with a diverse range of niche vertical-specific applications,” said Transforma Insights Founding Partner Matt Hatton.
Geographically, China, North America and Europe dominate, accounting for 26%, 24% and 23% respectively of the total value of the IoT market in 2030.
Customers are making 5G the fastest growing generation of cellular wireless technology in terms of new subscriptions, according to 5G Americas.
According to data based from Omdia, there are now over 17.7 million 5G connections globally as of Q4 2019, which represents 329% growth over Q3 2019 – and is five million subscribers ahead of previous projections.
“We truly had a great year in 2019, as 5G adoption has surpassed most forecasts. With the first year of 5G completed, 2020 is shaping up to be focused on the growth of new 5G devices, increasing coverage, increasing network densification, and probably the first 5G Stand Alone deployments,” said Chris Pearson, President, 5G Americas.
The ascent of cellular communication technologies
The rapid ascent of 5G compares favorably against the initial year for previous cellular communication technologies like LTE, which has now reached 5.3 billion connections after ten years of operation.
While LTE became commercially available in the last quarter of 2009, it was used by only around 1,000 customers in Western Europe initially. In 2010, North America added 20,000 more LTE customers, bringing the total to 23,250 connections globally.
It took roughly 10 quarters, or until Q1 2012, for 4G LTE to reach 17.9 million connections – roughly where 5G is today. 3G did not reach that mark until December 2010, after 11 Quarters and 2G reached it in December 1995, after 14 quarters.
The rapid growth of 5G has been fueled by an explosion of 3GPP-standard commercial 5G networks deployed globally. There are now 59 5G commercial networks, a number which is expected to nearly quadruple to 200 by the end of 2020, according to data from TeleGeography.
The geographical expansion of global 5G connections
Regionally by the end of 2019, North America had 587,000 5G connections and 483 million LTE connections. In Q4 2019, North America continued with robust subscription additions of 434,000 5G connections (284% Q3 to Q4) and 13 million LTE connections (2.7% Q3 to Q4) across the region.
Latin America and the Caribbean ended 2019 with 1,237 5G subscriptions (314% Q3 to Q4) and 366 million LTE subscriptions (5.4% Q3 to Q4 growth), respectively.
According to Jose Otero, Vice President of Latin America and Caribbean, 5G Americas, “5G is the fastest growing wireless technology to arrive in Latin America and the Caribbean and the first generation of wireless cellular technologies to be deployed in the region during its first year of existence.
2019 saw the arrival of commercial 5G networks in Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Uruguay and the US Virgin, and is expected that during 2020 more 5G networks start operating in the region.”
Looking forward, Omdia projects 5G connections will reach 91 million globally by the end of 2020, of which North America will account for 13.9 million. Latin America and the Caribbean will account for an additional 1.5 million subscribers by the end of the year.
At the same time, global 4G LTE connections are expected to reach 5.9 billion, of which 513 million (6.1% annual growth) will come from North America and 397 million (8.6% annual growth) will come from Latin America and the Caribbean.
Overall, the following number of networks using wireless technologies have been deployed as of March 16, 2020:
- 5G: 59
- LTE Advanced: 321
- LTE: 672
- 5G: 6
- LTE Advanced: 9
- LTE: 19
Latin America & Caribbean
- 5G: 5
- LTE Advanced: 48
- LTE: 126
ESET researchers have discovered Kr00k (CVE-2019-15126), a previously unknown vulnerability in Wi-Fi chips used in many client devices, Wi-Fi access points and routers.
Kr00k is a vulnerability that causes the network communication of an affected device to be encrypted with an all-zero encryption key. In a successful attack, this allows an adversary to decrypt wireless network packets.
The discovery of Kr00k follows previous ESET research into the Amazon Echo being vulnerable to KRACKs (Key Reinstallation Attacks). Kr00k is related to KRACK, but is also fundamentally different.
During the investigation into KRACK, ESET researchers identified Kr00k as one of the causes behind the “reinstallation” of an all-zero encryption key observed in tests for KRACK attacks. Subsequent to their research, most major device manufacturers have released patches.
CVE-2019-15126 is particularly dangerous because it has affected over a billion Wi-Fi enabled devices – a conservative estimate.
Kr00k affects all devices with Broadcom and Cypress Wi-Fi chips that remain unpatched. These are the most common Wi-Fi chips used in today’s client devices.
Wi-Fi access points and routers are also affected by the vulnerability, making even environments with patched client devices vulnerable. ESET tested and confirmed that among the vulnerable devices were client devices by Amazon (Echo, Kindle), Apple (iPhone, iPad, MacBook), Google (Nexus), Samsung (Galaxy), Raspberry (Pi 3) and Xiaomi (Redmi), as well as access points by Asus and Huawei.
ESET responsibly disclosed the vulnerability to the chip manufacturers Broadcom and Cypress, who subsequently released patches. They also worked with the Industry Consortium for Advancement of Security on the Internet (ICASI) to ensure that all possibly affected parties – including affected device manufacturers using the vulnerable chips, as well as other possibly affected chip manufacturers – were aware of Kr00k. According to their information, devices by major manufacturers have now been patched.
“Kr00k manifests itself after Wi-Fi disassociations – which can happen naturally, for example due to a weak Wi-Fi signal, or may be manually triggered by an attacker,” said Miloš Čermák, the lead ESET researcher into the Kr00k vulnerability.
“If an attack is successful, several kilobytes of potentially sensitive information can be exposed. By repeatedly triggering disassociations, the attacker can capture a number of network packets with potentially sensitive data,” he adds.
More technical details about Kr00k are available here.
Protection against Kr00k attacks
“To protect yourself, as a user, make sure you have updated all your Wi-Fi capable devices, including phones, tablets, laptops, IoT smart devices, and Wi-Fi access points and routers, to the latest firmware version,” said Robert Lipovský, an ESET researcher working with the Kr00k vulnerability research team.
“Of great concern is that not only client devices, but also Wi-Fi access points and routers that have been affected by Kr00k. This greatly increases the attack surface, as an adversary can decrypt data that was transmitted by a vulnerable access point, which is often beyond your control, to your device, which doesn’t have to be vulnerable.”
Here’s yet another reason to secure Wi-Fi networks and Windows user accounts with a strong enough password: researchers have spotted and analyzed a malware program that is able to spread the Emotet Trojan to nearby wireless networks and compromise computers on them.
Emotet: An old threat
Emotet is one of the most versatile malware threats out there.
Until now, Emotet was known to be able to deliver itself to other computers on the same network thanks to its propagation component, which spreads the malware via mounted shares or the use of exploits.
But, according to Binary Defense researchers, it now has another, even more dangerous propagation trick that allows it to “hop” onto other Wi-Fi networks and try to compromise computers on it.
A new spreading capability
“We retrieved this malware sample from an Emotet bot used for research and reverse-engineered the malware code using IDA Pro to determine how it operates,” Randy Pargman, senior director of threat hunting and counterintelligence at Binary Defense, told Help Net Security.
After the malware infects a computer that has Wi-Fi capability, it uses the wlanAPI interface to discover any Wi-Fi networks in the area: a neighbor’s Wi-Fi network, a free Wi-Fi network at a café, or a Wi-Fi network of a nearby business.
“Even if those networks are protected with a password required to join, the malware tries a list of possible passwords and if one of the guessed passwords works to connect to the Wi-Fi network, it will join the infected computer to that network,” Pargman explained.
“Once it is on the network, the malware scans all other computers connected to the same network for any Windows computers that have file sharing enabled. It then retrieves the list of all user accounts on those computers and attempts to guess the passwords to those accounts as well as the Administrator account. If any of the guessed passwords are correct, the malware copies itself to that computer and installs itself by running a remote command on the other computer.”
Lastly, is reports back to the command and control server to confirm the installation.
Some interesting details
One interesting thing discovered during the analysis is that the main executable file the malware uses for wireless spreading has a timestamp that dates back to April 2018 and was first submitted to VirusTotal a month later.
“The executable with this timestamp contained a hard-coded IP address of a Command and Control (C2) server that was used by Emotet. This hints that this Wi-Fi spreading behavior has been running unnoticed for close to two years,” noted James Quinn, a threat researcher at Binary Defense.
“This may be in part due to how infrequently the binary is dropped. Based on our records, 01/23/2020 was the first time that Binary Defense observed this file being delivered by Emotet, despite having data going back to when Emotet first came back in late August of 2019.”
Another thing that might explain the low profile of this malware is that its exploitation of the wlanAPI for network profiling will not be triggered if researchers run it in VMs/automated sandboxes with no Wi-Fi adapter.
The combined enterprise and consumer wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments fell 3.6% year over year in the third quarter of 2019 (3Q19) with worldwide revenues of $3.8 billion.
According to IDC, he enterprise segment fell 1.1% year over year in 3Q19 to $1.62 billion. The market is in a state of transition as a new wireless standard comes to market, but the continued demand for wireless access technologies, combined with new advanced software management and automation capabilities are expected to drive growth in this market moving forward.
The entrance of the 802.11ax wireless standard, also known as Wi-Fi 6, in the market took some share from shipments of previous generation 802.11ac products. 802.11ac products accounted for 84.8% of dependent access point shipments in the enterprise segment and 86.2% of dependent access point revenues. 802.11ax products made up 3.1% of dependent access point shipments and 6.1% of revenues.
Meanwhile, the consumer WLAN market fell 5.3% year over year to $2.18 billion. Shipments of 802.11ac products accounted for 57.0% of units shipped, and 78.1% of revenues. The previous-generation 802.11n standard accounted for 42.8% of shipments, but only 20.8% of revenues.
“The enterprise WLAN market is transitioning as vendors and customers begin to adopt the latest Wi-Fi standard. In the third quarter of 2019, IDC tracked the initial shipments of 802.11ax, also known as Wi-Fi 6, which includes numerous features for enterprises and Internet of Things use cases,” said Brandon Butler, senior research analyst, Enterprise Networks.
“IDC expects the continued adoption of Wi-Fi 6 to be a major driver of growth for the enterprise WLAN market in the fourth quarter of 2019 and throughout 2020.”
The WLAN market by region
Results in the enterprise WLAN market were mixed across the globe. The Asia/Pacific region, excluding Japan, was up 3.3% annually in 3Q19, with China growing 6.9% year over year while the Korean market fell 16.2%. Japan’s market dropped 19.8% compared to a year earlier.
Growth slowed across Europe in the third quarter. The Central and Eastern Europe region was off 1.7% compared to a year earlier, with Russia dropping 6.6%. Romania was a bright spot in the region with 11.9% growth.
The Western Europe region fell 4.5% year over year. Germany fell 3.5% while the United Kingdom was down 10.0%. The Middle East and Africa region grew 8.0% year over year with growth of 6.7% from the United Arab Emirates and 25.5% from Qatar.
The Latin America region fell 12.1% with Mexico off 17.3% year over year. The U.S. market rose 0.1% on an annualized basis and was up 0.5% sequentially from the second quarter of 2019.
“The enterprise WLAN market saw mixed results regionally, in part influenced by macro-economic conditions that continue to disrupt the broader information technology sector,” said Petr Jirovsky, research manager, Worldwide Networking Trackers.
“Most notable has been the continued trade standoffs between the United States and China, along with the unresolved Brexit situation and political unrest in Latin America. These macro-economic and political situations create uncertainty for global businesses, which can in turn lead to pausing or scaling back of investments.”
Enterprise WLAN company highlights
- Cisco‘s worldwide enterprise WLAN revenue fell 4.9% year over year, but grew 1.9% compared to the previous quarter. The company’s market share dropped slightly from 44.9% in 2Q19 to 44.2% in 3Q19.
- HPE-Aruba‘s revenues increased 1.3% year over year and rose 4.6% sequentially. The company’s market share grew to 14.1% in 3Q19 from 14.0% a quarter earlier.
- Ubiquiti‘s revenues rose 9.4% annually and 8.6% sequentially, with the company’s market share growing to 7.1%, from 6.8% a quarter earlier.
- Huawei‘s quarterly revenues rose to 11.2% year over year and were up 3.7% sequentially, giving the company 5.4% market share.
- CommScope (formerly ARRIS/Ruckus) was off 20.3% year over year and was down 6.7% compared to 2Q19. That caused the company’s market share to drop from 5.8% in the second quarter to 5.2% in 3Q19.
Slowly but surely, 5G digital cellular networks are being set up around the world. It will take years for widespread coverage and use to be achieved, so what better time than now for finding a way to ease into it while keeping security in mind? Opportunity comes with risks “Without a doubt 5G opens up a whole new world of opportunities for services that take advantage of the higher speeds and lower latencies that 5G … More