Adversarial Machine Learning for Flooding Attacks on 5G Radio Access Network Slicing

by   Yi Shi, et al.

Network slicing manages network resources as virtual resource blocks (RBs) for the 5G Radio Access Network (RAN). Each communication request comes with quality of experience (QoE) requirements such as throughput and latency/deadline, which can be met by assigning RBs, communication power, and processing power to the request. For a completed request, the achieved reward is measured by the weight (priority) of this request. Then, the reward is maximized over time by allocating resources, e.g., with reinforcement learning (RL). In this paper, we introduce a novel flooding attack on 5G network slicing, where an adversary generates fake network slicing requests to consume the 5G RAN resources that would be otherwise available to real requests. The adversary observes the spectrum and builds a surrogate model on the network slicing algorithm through RL that decides on how to craft fake requests to minimize the reward of real requests over time. We show that the portion of the reward achieved by real requests may be much less than the reward that would be achieved when there was no attack. We also show that this flooding attack is more effective than other benchmark attacks such as random fake requests and fake requests with the minimum resource requirement (lowest QoE requirement). Fake requests may be detected due to their fixed weight. As an attack enhancement, we present schemes to randomize weights of fake requests and show that it is still possible to reduce the reward of real requests while maintaining the balance on weight distributions.


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