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Annabelle Theobald

Mobile communications security with Dr. Adrian Dabrowski

The 24th episode of our very own CISPA podcast TL;DR is online! We are talking about MobileAtlas, an infrastructure for mobile network tests across Europe. It was developed by CISPA researcher Adrian Dabrwoski, together with Gabriel Gegenhuber from the University of Vienna and colleagues from SBA Research. Dabrowski explains why testing and measuring across borders has been difficult and cumbersome so far, what the idea and technology behind MobileAtlas are, and what else he is interested in besides mobile research.

"The real problem for mobile researchers is that they can only examine the two or three networks that are available in their region," Dabrowski says. Until now, researchers would either have to travel a lot themselves if they wanted to research other countries' networks as well, or have friends abroad to help them. "What MobileAtlas offers is the ability to run automated tests on quite a few stations around the world." Currently, there are measurement stations in ten countries. Dabrowski and his colleagues hope research colleagues will help expand the platform further. "MobileAtlas could also be of interest to mobile operators," the researcher is convinced. "For the first time, the platform offers them the opportunity to test whether their roaming partners deliver on their service promises."

The name MobileAtlas is derived from the name of the RIPEATLAS Internet test platform, which has been in existence since 2010. "RIPE NCC is the European Internet Governance. The RIPE Atlas is a global network of meters that measure Internet connectivity and accessibility," Dabrowski explains. "Whether we can offer MobileAtlas as comprehensively as RIPE NCC offers their platform remains to be seen."

In addition to mobile communications, the researcher is also working on programming languages and how they can be designed to prevent code from having certain errors in the first place, thus reducing security vulnerabilities.

TL;DR, short for "To Long Didn't' Read," is the name of our CISPA podcast, with "Women in Cybersecurity" as a special edition. It has been on the air since 2022, and it's available on all major podcast platforms. Each month, we talk to CISPA researchers about their work on cybersecurity issues and artificial intelligence, and try to ask them the exact questions that listeners are asking themselves. Our goal is to explain complex topics in simple language. As people from 43 nations work at CISPA, the conversations are recorded in German and English, alternating between the two languages.