Evaluating the security of open radio access networks

Dudu Mimran, Ron Bitton, Yehonatan Kfir, Eitan Klevansky, Oleg Brodt, Heiko Lehmann, Yuval Elovici, Asaf Shabtai

arXiv preprint arXiv:2201.06080, 2022

The Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) is a promising RAN architecture, aimed at reshaping the RAN industry toward an open, adaptive, and intelligent RAN. In this paper, we conducted a comprehensive security analysis of Open Radio Access Networks (O-RAN). Specifically, we review the architectural blueprint designed by the O-RAN alliance — A leading force in the cellular ecosystem. Within the security analysis, we provide a detailed overview of the O-RAN architecture; present an ontology for evaluating the security of a system, which is currently at an early development stage; detect the primary risk areas to O-RAN; enumerate the various threat actors to O-RAN; and model potential threats to O-RAN. The significance of this work is providing an updated attack surface to cellular network operators. Based on the attack surface, cellular network operators can carefully deploy the appropriate countermeasure for increasing the security of O-RAN.