SAKA: a secure authentication and key agreement protocol for GSM networks

Research paper by Neetesh Saxena, Narendra S. Chaudhari

Indexed on: 21 Nov '13Published on: 21 Nov '13Published in: CSI Transactions on ICT


Although nowadays we are running in the 3rd generation of cellular networks but most of the service providers are also providing the services of 2nd generation cellular networks. The Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) protocol is proposed to solve the security issues and vulnerabilities found in first generation of cellular communication which was based on analog communication system. GSM system is still vulnerable to redirection attack, man-in-the-middle attack and impersonation attack. An intruder can apply these attacks to impersonate the network or bill mischarge the users. In this paper, we propose a new secure GSM protocol called “SAKA” to prevent GSM networks from various security issues and attacks. This proposed protocol improves the drawbacks of the original GSM authentication protocol including: not supporting mutual authentication; large bandwidth consumption between VLR and HLR; storage space overhead in VLR; and overloaded HLR with authentication of mobile stations. This protocol also eliminates the need of synchronization between a mobile station MS and its home network HLR. The SAKA protocol generates minimum communication overhead as compare to all other existing and proposed GSM protocols. Authors claim that on an average the SAKA protocol has reduced 56 % of the bandwidth consumption during the authentication process which is the maximum reduction of bandwidth by any GSM protocol.