The cellular network underpins all of the major functionality of what we consider a smartphone. There does seem to be some confusion, however, about how magical this integral part of the cellular ecosystem actually is. Most folks, when asked how a cell phone works, would answer “It just does!” Although this might satisfy most people, it’s not a particularly satisfying answer for a security professional. Fortunately, understanding the basics of the cellular network doesn’t take complex calculus or a lifetime of experience in radio networks. We’re going to begin this chapter by introducing and then dissecting a standard Global System for Mobile (GSM) or Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) carrier network, ...

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