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Home : ITU-T Home : Study Groups : Study Group 17
Communication System Security
1. Lead Study Group on Communication System Security

World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-2000) Resolution 1 provides for the designation of Lead Study Groups (LSGs) for ITU-T studies forming a defined programme of work involving a number of Study Groups. LSGs are responsible for the study of appropriate core questions. In addition, in consultation with the relevant Study Groups and in collaboration, where appropriate, with other standards bodies, the LSGs have the responsibility to define and to maintain the overall framework and to coordinate, to assign (recognizing the mandates of the Study Groups) and to prioritize the studies to be done by the Study Groups and to ensure the preparation of Recommendations, that are consistent, complete and timely.

Study Group 17 has been designated the LSG for Communication Systems Security (CSS). This was confirmed by TSAG when the decision to merge SG 7 and SG 10 into a new SG 17, with effect on 17 September 2001, was taken.

Activities of the LSG CSS may be categorized as core activities centered on defining and maintaining overall security frameworks, and project management activities involving the coordination, assignment and prioritization of efforts that would lead to timely communication system security Recommendations.

Within SG 17 for the period 2001-2004 the Rapporteur for Q.10/17, has been identified as the coordinator for LSG CSS activities.

The LSG CSS work closely with other Study Groups to identify and develop security solutions. However, specific expertise to integrate these solutions with the technology under development can come only from the Question carrying out the development. It is not planned that the LSG CSS will have a role to develop specific cryptographic algorithms, to register cryptographic algorithms (ISO performs the registration function effectively now), or to certify security of specific systems.

All Study Groups are requested to keep Study Group 17 informed on their work plans regarding security so that they can be integrated into the overall security worK programme. TSB Circular 147 (14 February 2003) highlights the major security work efforts taking place in ITU-T Study Groups.

The TSB has also published in December 2003 a security manual titled "Security in telecommunications and information technology - An overview of issues and the deployment of existing ITU-T Recommendations for secure telecommunications." It is electronically available at:

2. Catalogue of ITU-T Recommendations related to Communications System Security

The Catalogue of the approved security Recommendations include those, designed for security purposes and those, which describe or use of functions of security interest and need. Although some of the security related Recommendations includes the phrase "Open Systems Interconnection", much of the information contained in them is pertinent to the establishment of security functionality in any communicating system.

In an effort to make this information as complete as possible, it is requested that all ITU Study Groups review these tables to correct and add to the listings presently there.

An extract of this information is available in an ITU-T flyer on security.

3. Compendium of ITU-T approved security definitions

A Compendium of ITU-T Approved Security Definitions, and its addendum have been prepared. The material in these tables was extracted from approved ITU-T Recommendations with a view toward establishing a common understanding (and use) of security terms within ITU-T. This listing will continue to be developed.

In an effort to make the Compendium as complete as possible, it is requested that all ITU Study Groups review these tables to correct, amend, delete or add to the listings presently there. Study Groups are also urged to make use of these definitions, as appropriate, in their ongoing work.

4. Security Workshop

ITU-T Study Group 17 organized a workshop on Security that was held 13-14 May 2002 in Seoul Korea. The workshop focused on the following subjects:

Security Requirements and telecommunications reliability
Hot topics on IP-based network security
Security management
Biometric authentication
Mobile security

The presentations and related information are available (including a link to the ITU workshops on "Creating trust in critical network infrastructures").

5. Tutorial on writing safe and secure programs

A list of suggestions has been prepared on how to avoid the most common pitfalls that make software less secure or less safe than it should be. It is addressed to software developers and covers the phases of software design, implementation, and testing. It focuses on network application programs, but many of the suggestions are equally valid for other kinds of software.


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Updated : 2005-06-16