Geo Location based DDOS can target Mobile Operators

The sharp rise of smart mobile phones is introducing a new and concerning attack vector - a geo-location based DDOS.

Example Scenario
Imagine a popular mobile application (bejeweled like game) that is downloaded by many.

  1. The app contains a small amount of code to reference the phone's GPS and also check in with a command and control website.
  2. The attacker decides on a city to target and a popular time of day and then updates the command and control website.
  3. The mobie applications all check in with the C&C site and all mobile applications in the city area begin downloading large video files from YouTube.

  • A massive sudden spike in high bandwidth usage of the mobile data network in a single metropolitan area.
  • Most cellular networks run near capacity during the lunch rushes of popular cities. A sudden massive spike such as this would likely push the network over the edge and bring it down entirely.

This is a tough issue to address and I think it warrants a bit of consideration.

This is a guest post by Michael Coates, a senior application security consultant with extensive experience in application security, security code review and penetration assessments. He has conducted numerous security assessments for financial, enterprise and cellular customers world-wide.
The original text is published on ...Application Security...

Talkback and comments are most welcome

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virtue said...

it's a good article :)

Sam said...

Good warning, but I would rather be interested in knowing if this means that someone might know where you are without you giving permission for it...


Bozidar Spirovski said...

To Sam
Actually that is a very legitimate point but requires a lot more work - one needs to identify your phone, make you install the malicious software and then track you - a lot more work then the generic 'shotgun principle' of the DDoS attack.

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EddieGarcia said...

Very interesting article. I realize there is a lot going on in the world that I do not understand & if the truth is known, I don't want to know about either. Something like this fascinates me & it's amazing that we have progressed this far in our securities and communications. Thanks for sharing this article!

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Blog Tactic said...

interesting scenario. the risk is definitely there.

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