Paper 2018/876

Identity Confidentiality in 5G Mobile Telephony Systems

Haibat Khan, Benjamin Dowling, and Keith M. Martin


The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) recently proposed a standard for 5G telecommunications, containing an identity protection scheme meant to address the long-outstanding privacy problem of permanent subscriber-identity disclosure. The proposal is essentially two disjoint phases: an identification phase, followed by an establishment of security context between mobile subscribers and their service providers via symmetric-key based authenticated key agreement. Currently, 3GPP proposes to protect the identification phase with a public-key based solution, and while the current proposal is secure against a classical adversary, the same would not be true of a quantum adversary. 5G specifications target very long-term deployment scenarios (well beyond the year 2030), therefore it is imperative that quantum-secure alternatives be part of the current specification. In this paper, we present such an alternative scheme for the problem of private identification protection. Our solution is compatible with the current 5G specifications, depending mostly on cryptographic primitives already specified in 5G, adding minimal performance overhead and requiring minor changes in existing message structures. Finally, we provide a detailed formal security analysis of our solution in a novel security framework.

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Security Standardisation Research 2018
Contact author(s)
Haibat Khan 2016 @ live rhul ac uk
2018-09-23: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Haibat Khan and Benjamin Dowling and Keith M.  Martin},
      title = {Identity Confidentiality in 5G Mobile Telephony Systems},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2018/876},
      year = {2018},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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