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LTE Security I: Concept and Authentication
July 31, 2013 | By Netmanias (tech@netmanias.com)
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Comments (24)
The LTE Security technical document consists of two companion documents: this first document (Part I LTE Security I) and the second document (Part II LTE Security II) that follows. These documents will cover the following three topics: LTE authentication (in Part I) and NAS security and AS security (in Part II). In Part I, an overview of LTE security explaining the concept of the three topics and the relationship among them will be given, followed by a detailed description of LTE authentication procedure.
Page 1 of 4



Table of Contents  

1. Introduction
2. LTE Security Concept 
3. LTE Authentication Procedure
4. Closing and References



1. Introduction 


Wireless communication, in its nature, is always at a risk of eavesdropping or manipulation because data originally sent from/to a user may be received and unlawfully used by an unintended user. Locations or traveling routes of a user can also be easily tracked by tracing to which cells the user is connected or through which cells the user is travelling. And this can result in privacy infringement. Mobile communication networks provide security features to ensure data transferred across radio links is not manipulated, prevent unauthorized access by an unintended user to the data received, and protect the privacy of users.


The LTE Security document describes basic security features offered by LTE networks, including LTE authentication, NAS (Non Access Stratum) security and AS (Access Stratum) security. LTE authentication is the process of determining whether a user is an authorized subscriber to the network that he/she is trying to access, while NAS security and AS security are features required to securely deliver user data that travels through LTE radio links at NAS and AS levels.


The LTE Security document consists of the following two companion documents: Part I, LTE Security I, and Part II, LTE Security II. Part I will explain the concept of LTE security and the detailed procedure of LTE authentication, and Part II will discusses NAS and AS security setup.


Part I is organized as follows:


In Chapter 2, the scope of these two companion documents will be defined and a conceptual overview will be given.

Chapter 3 will focus on the detailed procedure of LTE authentication and

Chapter 4 will summarize the LTE authentication and the LTE authentication-related keys.





Page 1 of 4
HI 2014-11-18 16:01:18



Good Document.

blue 2014-12-29 18:01:29



Why in the picture 2 NW sent ATTACH ACCEPT before AS Security Mode Command, from our log i saw opposite result.


00:01:07.735 LTE RRC OTA Packet  --  DL_DCCH / SecurityModeCommand       /*AS SecurityModeCommand form NW */

00:01:08.241 LTE NAS EMM Plain OTA Incoming Message  --  Attach accept Msg/*Attach accept form NW */


Thank you.

garima singh 2016-12-01 19:49:56


  will you tell me on which tool you have did LTE simulation

bjm 2015-04-21 21:51:00

What algorithm is used for the KDF? Is it selectable/configurable?

garima singh 2016-12-01 19:48:25

anybody can tell me whaich simulator  i should use for security setup in LTE..............

Kiran 2015-07-16 14:14:27

Thanks for sharing very useful info

pratit khare 2015-09-07 07:16:54

Hi...plz explain me why ciphering is optional in AS security?

satyasunil.sunkara@tatatel.co.in.com 2016-02-22 17:09:27

Excellent basic stuff...that great,.

jaime 2016-05-18 06:44:17

Great document

jaime 2016-05-19 23:46:30

Hi Would you know what happens in the case  of IWF as in 3G  Serving Network is not used thus how is KASAME going to be derived if there is no SN-ID ??  


Thanks in advance 


Jack Lin 2016-09-26 01:32:36


JackLin 2018-11-29 11:24:17


John Dalgas 2016-12-06 21:00:17

Excellent document.

Very accessably written, focusing on the important matters, and beautifully depicted by sequence diagrams combined with algorithm box diagrams, together showing exactly the creation and flow of information.

By far the best description I have found - I am blown over backwards - just the information I needed - thank you.

kemanzhuo 2017-09-02 21:04:40

excellent, very useful info.

sudhakar 2017-10-07 14:39:20

Hi, Excellent document and can easily understandable 

debasis 2017-10-28 18:58:09

nice document

Samir Mohanty 2018-08-03 18:35:43

Hello ,

I am testing my MME(SUT),

-Precondtion: EEA1 Disabled in MME.

-While my UE is Sending EEA1 in Attach Request to MME and MME is sending Same EEA1 in Securitymode comand which is disabled in MME.


Please let me know what should be sent by MME in Securitymode comand, will it send any error message.

one EEA1 is disabled or others(EEA0,EEA2....) will be send insted of EEA1.

garima singh 2019-01-03 02:34:15


Zakir Hussain 2018-10-11 02:23:10

Hi All,

How Ue gets SN ID for generating Kasme at Ue side?

Please explain.

vemula geeta 2019-02-07 13:17:25

Hello Sir,

 kindly let me know which tool to use to simulate LTE authentication protocols. At present, I have started with NS3, i want to is ns3 is good simulator for simulating LTE authentication protocols or some other tool is better than this.


Vemula Geeta

Royal Singh 2020-03-12 21:00:42

You may try this tool to get the LTE OTA logs  "https://github.com/P1sec/QCSuper", I have not tried dont know how it will work

gorgedowdy 2020-04-01 08:09:58

Great explanation. So much easy to understand  compared with the other articles i've read on the web

priyanka sharma 2020-09-10 12:08:39

Excellent explanation. One question is SN ID stored in SIM as we use SIM card from specific operator and this is how ME gets information about it 

Anjani Telkar 2020-10-09 20:35:40

Excellent Document and great explanation.

One question:During Authentication 

THe HSS forms as many AVs as requested by the MME and then delivers an Authentication Information Answer (AVs) message to the MME. The MME stores the AVs  and selects one of them to use in LTE authentication of the UE. Based on what mechanism MME selects the ith AV(AVi)? Could you please help me out.

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