Friday, November 16, 2012

A terrorist could jam an LTE base station for $650

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Virginia Tech professor Jeffrey H. Reed and Marc Lichtman, a graduate student, filed a comment with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration showing that a terrorist could crash an LTE base station serving thousands of people by jamming control signals using a software defined radio and laptop.

They were commenting because there is a plan for a nationwide public safety broadband network that would use LTE wireless technology.

A Technology Review article on the filing estimates the cost of the jamming equipment at $650 and points out that 2G and 3G wireless would continue to work -- but 2 and 3G wireless are relatively will be phased out.

Reed and Lichtman do not offer a solution -- they merely point out the vulnerability.