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ATM Networks and Security

by Dr. Eva Bozoki - May 30, 2000

ATM Networks and Security

1. Introduction


2. ATM Connections


3. ATM Protocol Basics


4. Attacks


5. Security Measures


6. Placement of the User Plane Security Services


7. Secure Call Setup Protocol


8. Conclusion






About the Author


ATM's flexibility to deliver different classes of traffic at high or low speed has made it a popular choice for many networks. Security in ATM networks is an emerging concern, though. This article describes why security in ATM networks is a potential issue, and details what security measures you need to take to protect your network.

1. Introduction

The ever-increasing demand for high-volume data transfer—including voice, image, and video data—requires high-speed networks. Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) networks can provide just that. ATM networks also are flexible enough to allow on-demand bandwidth usage and the use of different quality of service parameters for different classes of traffic.

Security in ATM networks is an emerging concern because it was not part of the original design. Most handbooks to date do not have much to say on the topic. However, several university centers in the United States and abroad (mainly in Germany and Australia) and research departments in large corporations have moved to the forefront to examine and enhance this security [CPSW98, LPP98, SVH98, and Lia97]. The ATM Forum, an international nonprofit organization whose aim is to accelerate the use of ATM products and services by developing interoperability specifications, leads the effort in designing security within the ATM protocol [ATMSEC99]. This organization also publishes a biyearly "Products and Services Guide". The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), another organization that deals with technical issues relating to the Internet, also has issued a number of Request for Comments (RFCs) documents relating to ATM technology [IETF-RFC and LL99].

The organization of this paper is as follows: Sections 2 and 3 cover the basic features of ATM connections and the ATM protocol. Additional reading for these sections can be found in [Bl99, Kar99, LL99, DS98, and Koe98]. Section 4 discusses attacks, and Sections 5, 6, and 7 deal with security issues.




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