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Engineer Turned YouTuber and Inventor addresses security concerns in 5G/6G Systems

Ahmed Raza



Engineer Turned YouTuber

The evolution of telecommunication networks has unfolded in distinct phases, marked by each new “generation” from 1G to 4G. Each generation introduced opportunities for socio-economic mobility as well as challenges, including security and privacy concerns. Within the domain of 5G and the security of cloud systems, cybersecurity experts warn of an impending crisis, characterizing it as a ticking time bomb. Interestingly, Western companies that have opted out of using Huawei for 5G find themselves ironically more vulnerable to hacking.

Verizon adopts a clever strategy by deploying fiber to their new nodes and strategically installing numerous ones, a crucial step given the challenges mmWave faces in effectively penetrating walls. The 3rd Generation Partnership Project, the 3GPP, has also set some work items relating to privacy and security concerns in some related features of the system. However, when it comes to 6G, the question arises: can we expect its arrival anytime soon, or will safety and security concerns delay its implementation? 

Ahmad Bazzi, a former algorithm and signal processing engineering team leader turned NYU researcher, inventor and a YouTuber has recently published a paper in the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security as first author, along with Marwa Chafii, an associate professor at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU WIRELESS as the second author, tackling privacy and security concerns within a so-called millimeter wave (mmWave) system. For information, mmWave system is a system using waves that have a wavelength between one and ten millimeters. 

Some people, who prefer the usage of frequency, also refer to it as the Extremely high frequency, which was formally nominated by the  International Telecommunication Union as the band of frequencies that range from 30 to 300 gigahertz (GHz) within the  electromagnetic spectrum.  Given such a system which is intended for 5G and 6G future systems, the authors, Ahmad Bazzi and Marwa Chafii, designate extra countermeasures against passive targets, which can intend harm on the system through malicious eavesdropping. From a technical point of view, a so-called dual functional radar-communication (DFRC) base station concisely illuminates signal power in target directions without revealing the communication information conveyed within the transmitted signal.

The paper, titled “Secure Full Duplex Integrated Sensing and Communications,” was published online in IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security regarding this issue. The paper mentions that “Today, 5G security is a stand-alone architecture, but 6G will shift from a security-only focus to a more comprehensive view of trustworthiness, so it is crucial to integrate security capabilities with sensing and communication”. All in all, the research paper offers hope into the plausibility of secure 5G and 6G systems. 

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