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Mobile Communication: SMS Security Review (Issues, Attacks and Preventive Measures)

Gurjeet Kaur, Monika Sachdeva, Dr.K.K. Saluja


The Short Messaging Service (SMS) is global wireless service that is used to send and receive the messages over Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM).Short Message Service (SMS) has grown in popularity over the years and it has become a common way of communication. It is fastest way of communication around the world. SMS is usually used to transport unclassified information, but with the rise of mobile commerce it has become a popular tool for transmitting sensitive information between the business and its clients.SMS has become a mass communication tool and has been broadly used in mobile business applications. But the security issue of the SMS has often been considered as a crucial barrier to its application in many fields that need strong authentication and confidentiality, such as mobile-commerce. There is no built –in procedure to authenticate and offer security for text transmitted over GSM network. This paper describes all the existing security mechanisms in SMS and security shortfalls and various attacks on SMS in GSM networks which include Authentication, Encryption, Equipment Identification and Subscriber Identity Confidentiality, Denial of service Attacks, Brute force attack, Replay Attack and security measures to prevent GSM network from these attacks. Two Applications, MySecSMS (sms sender J2ME application) and SecSMS(sms receiver Android application) describes the SMS mechanism.


Short Message Service Security, Mobile Communication, Global System for Mobile Communication, Wireless Messaging API , Java 2 Micro Edition, Android.

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