Analysis of privacy in mobile telephony systems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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  • University of Edinburgh


We present a thorough experimental and formal analysis of users’ privacy in mobile telephony systems. In particular, we experimentally analyse the use of pseudonyms and point out weak deployed policies leading to some critical scenarios which make it possible to violate a user’s privacy. We also expose some protocol’s vulnerabilities resulting in breaches of the anonymity and/or user unlinkability. We show these breaches translate in actual attacks which are feasible to implement on real networks and discuss our prototype implementation. In order to countermeasure these attacks, we propose realistic solutions. Finally, we provide the theoretical framework for the automatic verification of the unlinkability and anonymity of the fixed 2G/3G procedures and automatically verify them using the ProVerif tool.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491–523
Number of pages33
JournalInternational Journal of Information Security
Issue number5
Early online date5 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Privacy, Automatic verification, ProVerif, Mobile telephony, Pseudonym