New technology is exciting, but with new tech comes new security concerns. The rise of 5G networks is no different. With the recent announcement of T-Mobile’s “5G For All”, the next generation of cellular communication is on everyone’s radar, including hackers.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves it’s important to remember that we are still not living in a 5G world – even if T-Mobile’s marketing campaigns want you to believe it.
The G in 5G stands for generation. 5G is the latest generation of cellular wireless technology. It’s nearly 10x faster than 4G networks and promises to make mobile communication nearly instantaneous. But 5G will do so much more than just make your text messages get to your friends faster. 5G will play a pivotal role in connecting various technologies from GPS systems in vehicles to robots in factories.
The problem is it’s not actually here yet. 5G exists only in small pockets across the country and there are still some issues to sort out. Current 5G networks have a transmission radius of just a few hundred feet, plus they have trouble going through normal stuff like walls and heavy rain.
Major mobile carriers are currently working to redevelop their system of transmitters in order to make “5G For All” more than just a marketing pitch. Despite its current shortcomings, 5G is the future of communications. and everyone from criminal organizations to military groups will be trying to hack it.
According to European computer security company, Enisa, there are five groups most likely to try hacking into the new 5G networks. First on their list is cyber criminals, so no surprise there. Also on their potential hackers list are insiders, nation states, military, hacktivists, and script kiddies (individual junior hackers). These groups have the most to gain from hacking into 5G networks either for stealing data or committing fraud.
The amazing connectivity of 5G could leave certain systems vulnerable to attacks by hackers. Still, let’s not go hitting the panic button on 5G. The rise of 5G networks will mean users, businesses, and governments will have to take on new security tactics, but that is a small price to pay for progress.