Vol.39, No.1, 2021, pp.1-14, doi:10.32604/csse.2021.015593
Pseudonym Mutable Based Privacy for 5G User Identity
  • Rashid A. Saeed1, Mamoon M. Saeed2,3, Rania A. Mokhtar1, Hesham Alhumyani1, S. Abdel-Khalek4,*
1 Department of Computer Engineering, College of Computers and Information Technology, Taif University, P.O. Box 11099, Taif, 21944, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Alzaiem Alazhari University, Khartoum, 11111, Sudan
3 Department of Communications and Electronics Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Modern Sciences (UMS), Sana'a, 16784, Yemen
4 Department of Mathematics, College of Sciences, Taif University, P.O. Box 11099, Taif, 21944, Saudi Arabia
* Corresponding Author: S. Abdel-Khalek. Email:
Received 29 November 2020; Accepted 03 March 2021; Issue published 10 June 2021
Privacy, identity preserving and integrity have become key problems for telecommunication standards. Significant privacy threats are expected in 5G networks considering the large number of devices that will be deployed. As Internet of Things (IoT) and long-term evolution for machine type (LTE-m) are growing very fast with massive data traffic the risk of privacy attacks will be greatly increase. For all the above issues standards’ bodies should ensure users’ identity and privacy in order to gain the trust of service providers and industries. Against such threats, 5G specifications require a rigid and robust privacy procedure. Many research studies have addressed user privacy in 5G networks. This paper proposes a method to enhance user identity privacy in 5G systems through a scheme to protect the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) using a mutable mobile subscriber identity (MMSI) that changes randomly and avoids the exchange of IMSIs. It maintains authentication and key agreement (AKA) structure compatibility with previous mobile generations and improves user equipment (UE) synchronization with home networks. The proposed algorithm adds no computation overhead to UE or the network except a small amount in the home subscriber server (HSS). The proposed pseudonym mutable uses the XOR function to send the MMSI from the HSS to the UE which is reducing the encryption overhead significantly. The proposed solution was verified by ProVerif.
5G; MMSI; IMSI; AKA; privacy; user identity
Cite This Article
R. A. Saeed, M. M. Saeed, R. A. Mokhtar, H. Alhumyani and S. Abdel-Khalek, "Pseudonym mutable based privacy for 5g user identity," Computer Systems Science and Engineering, vol. 39, no.1, pp. 1–14, 2021.
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