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A working group pulled together by the US National Security Agency (NSA) has issued a report outlining the cybersecurity threats related to mobile broadband 5G network slicing.

Network slicing allows operators to bring together several network attributes or components, potentially across multiple operators, that support specific applications or services for 5G users, the report explains. While efficient for delivering services, 5G network slicing casts a wide threat net that includes potential weak points in policy and standards, the supply chain, and more.

“Although network slicing is not solely unique to 5G, it is a critical component because 5G specifications call for network slicing as a fundamental component and therefore require network operators to adopt security practices that can mitigate threats like those described in this paper,” the report said.

Potential threats include denial of service (DoS), man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks, and configuration attacks, it added.

The NSA, along with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), assembled members of the public and private sectors to address 5G slicing security concerns. The resulting 5G network slicing cybersecurity report looks toward how the architecture will play a role in enabling emerging technologies, including autonomous vehicles, and how to secure it.

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