’Security needs to be addressed,’ says specialist 

Cyber claims are set to become “more prevalent” with there being “increased risks” for a ”serious attack” on 5G networks.

That was according to Mark Hawksworth, global technology specialist practice group at Sedgwick, who said the loss adjusting firm had already started to see more claims related to 5G.

During a fringe session entitled 5G networks and their increased exposure to cyber-attacks at Biba’s 2023 conference in Manchester last week (10 May 2023), Hawksworth said: “The opportunity for a serious attack on 5G networks for threat actors is bigger than previous technologies.

“Securing 5G is more difficult, so security needs to be addressed.

“The issue with 5G is you can no longer piggyback 5G technology on the standard 4G technology, so you need to build new masts.”


Masts for 5G networks were developed during 2010 and can range up to the height of 50 metres – it was designed to sit in parallel to other technologies instead of replacing 4G and 3G. 

Hawksworth noted that while they were expensive to build, they did have benefits.

These included lower data costs, being able to operate at a faster speed than 4G and connect with Internet of Things (IoT) devices for some telematics insurance policies.

However, he said that there was a spike in damage claims during the Covid-19 pandemic, with people burning them down due to a conspiracy theory that 5G masts were linked to the spread of the virus.

Hawksworth said: “This was dangerous because a lot of emergency services frequencies are on occasion [using] 5G.

“If you can’t get a 5G service, [the signal] will drop down to a low level.”

In terms of other claims, he noted that while there was a risk of people being sensitive to radio waves, “5G is nowhere near the danger level of ionising radiation that [causes] physical harm to people”.

The government has also confirmed there was no evidence of a link between 5G and coronavirus.