Giorgi Akhalaia

Associate Professor of ICT, Caucasus University; Scientific Cyber Security Association; Cyber Security Main Specialist at Caucasus Cyber Security Center - Regional Representative of Bit Sentinel Caucasus University

BIOGRAPHY

Giorgi Akhalaia is a Ph.D candidate of computer science (Thesis: “Designing Security Function of 5G Networks using Machine Learning”). Giorgi has defended his Master’s degree at Caucasus University, Caucasus School of Technology (Program: IT Management). Giorgi is an Assistant-Professor at Caucasus University and invited lecturer at International Black Sea University (direction – Cyber Security). He is cyber security trainer at SCSA and Orient Logic Academy. He is an active participant in international scientific conferences. From 2014, he was involved in scientific studies at the Institute of Earth Sciences and by the 2016, Mr. Akhalaia was promoted as an Head of Scientific Geodesy Network of Georgia. He is responsible for managing and maintaining online and data servers, data collecting and processing as well as for upgrading and development of services and staff of the department. In 2019, Giorgi was involved in various international and local projects. Right now, he is security oriented IT System Admin in the project of Seismic Network Expansion in the Caucasus and Central Asia (Project between 7 countries), funded by The US Department of Energy. In 2020 he has won the PhD fund from Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia. Project title is “5G Network security”. In the framework of this fund, micro 5G lab will be created for testing and deploying new security functions. Giorgi is a cyber security main specialist and actively involved in Caucasus Cyber Security Center, CST, which is official representative of Bit Sentinel in the region. Giorgi is an author of several articles published in international journals. 

Device Tracking Threats in 5G Network

Development of mobile devices and artificial intelligence have triggered 5G network deployment. The new standard of mobile communication exceeds the limits of telecom network and creates new ecosystem with incorporated various industries, including critical services, emergency, healthcare, security, healthcare. New system, standard, solution always arise new vulnerabilities. When we are talking about mobile devices, generally they are used for everyday activities by end users. Hence the risk of personal, sensitive data leakage is increased.

Our study was oriented to assess end user privacy related to location-based threats in 5G networks. During the research, different experimental works were done to compare which method of locating device is less noisy for determining end-user location without their additional permissions. According to our experimental work, using cell-towers for device locating is more effective than GNSS method. By theoretical and practical analysis of 5G network standard, study shows that 3rd level of operating spectrum, can be used to locate device only with one cell tower, instead of standard, well known method – using information from three visible cell-towers. The only thing, which can interrupt the process is switch function, which is responsible for smooth roaming between towers. We have manually controlled the switching process and made device to stay connected on mmWave tower, without measuring the signal strength.

Our research objectives were: how 5G network architecture effect on UE location privacy? Which of the three operating spectrum is more vulnerable and to assess the scale of this vulnerability. 

Are you the next cyber security superstar?

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Other speakers joining this year

Gabriel Mihai Tanase

Partner, Technology & Cyber Security KPMG

Max van der Horst

Security Specialist NorthWave

Antonio Macovei

Security Systems Engineer Cloudflare

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Orange Romania is part of the Orange Group, one of the largest global telecommunications operators that connects hundreds of millions of customers worldwide. With over 11 million local customers and an annual turnover exceeding 1.5 billion euros, Orange Romania connects 1 in 2 Romanians and offers an extensive range of communication solutions for both individual and corporate customers, from basic connectivity services to complete mobile, fixed internet, TV packages, and complex IT&C solutions through Orange Business

Orange Romania is the number 1 operator in terms of network performance, and also holds nine consecutive Top Employer certifications, which confirm that Orange Romania, in addition to the remarkable products and services it offers, pays special attention to its employees and working environment. In the past 3 years Orange has launched two 5G Labs in Bucharest and Iasi, that aim to support researchers, startups and companies to test their 5G solutions in advance. 

In addition, Orange is a long-term supporter of the startup ecosystem through the Orange Fab accelerator program designed to support entrepreneurs in the development of innovative products and their distribution locally and internationally.

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