NEWSBYTE The combination of sensors and 5G networks may offer a new form of security threat to industrial Internet of Things deployments, according to security specialists Trend Micro. The vulnerability comes via 5G networks’ ability to collect data from sensors and control industrial devices.

So-called SIM-jacking or swapping attacks could pose serious risks to smart factories and other ‘Industry 4.0’ installations, it says, which could include facilities in the energy, oil, and gas sectors – including nuclear.

Compromising a SIM and pointing it towards a private network could allow hostile individuals or agencies to attack devices and prevent them from carrying out specific tasks.

Trend Micro says, “The cloud and management traffic of an enterprise passes through various security functions and up through the global IT cloud. This traffic then traverses the global telecom cloud, and then through public and non-public radio networks. There is no IT-visible security monitoring on this part.

“As 5G is enrolled to the next generation of operational technology (OT), these attacks will spread to enterprise equipment and devices that run on 5G SIM cards, and poses the ability to open doors to wider threats, including wiretapping, malware injections, large-scale fraud, poisoning of machine learning and supply chain attacks.

“As mobile devices are used for enterprise authentication, hijacked SIM cards can also give hackers access to a user’s enterprise email account as the hardware is said to be ‘trusted’. It means that they’ll be able to access all manner of corporate IP unknowingly.”