O2-Telefonica in Germany this week confirmed to Süddeutsche Zeitung that some of its customers have had their bank accounts drained using a two-stage attack that exploited weakness in their mobile (SS7) network. The disclosure comes after many years of public warnings, similar to those published by Anam CTO John Murtagh early in 2015 and much supported by the GSMA.
In addition to securing the increasingly important source of new revenue from A2P SMS growth, MNO’s must also accept that subscriber privacy and security are now clearly at risk. Tackling the problem is of course not straightforward and in his opinion paper, Ian Barbara, Director of Technology at Anam, proposes a Signalling Analytics -based strategy “Know your enemy and yourself and you will win all battles” that leans on advice from a military strategist and philosopher.
In all approaches leading to the reduction of an operator’s vulnerability to SS7 based threats, analytical tools play an important role in identifying the sequence of steps that an operator needs to undertake to ensure the safeguarding of its network and its subscribers and the protection of its brand.
The deployment of network analytical tools for continuous network monitoring or as a one-o network assessment exercise is a prudent starting point to securely protect the operator’s biggest, but highly exposed assets. There is a lot at stake in this ght against crime. Knowing your enemy and yourself is the first step to win the battle.
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