HAUD, the industry leader in revenue assurance and mobile network security, has introduced advanced filtering technology to differentiate between three distinct categories of MAP signalling traffic to further improve its SS7 firewall. The update provides additional layers of filtering for the company’s MAPScreen module, which allows for sophisticated screening of GSM MAP packets…
HAUD, the industry leader in revenue assurance and mobile network security, has introduced advanced filtering technology to differentiate between three distinct categories of MAP signalling traffic to further improve its SS7 firewall. The update provides additional layers of filtering for the company’s MAPScreen module, which allows for sophisticated screening of GSM MAP packets, a key type of traffic of the SS7 protocol that facilitates roaming, SMS and other services.
The upgraded MAPScreen module gives MNOs the power to identify and verify all Category 1, 2 and 3 SS7 traffic, which are increasingly being used for fraudulent and criminal activity. The GSMA defines Category 1 traffic as MAP messages that would ordinarily stay within the same network, Category 2 traffic as signalling data to roaming subscribers from their home network, and Category 3 traffic as data about the subscriber from the current visited network.
By being able to detect and filter all three categories of traffic, illegal or fraudulent communications can be identified, blocked, and the traffic source determined. This helps provide protection against call and SMS interception, IMSI stealing, and location tracking – vulnerabilities exploited in recent high profile hacks.
Enabling the core functions of both fixed-line and mobile telephony, SS7 acts as the legacy backbone protocol of the global telecommunication industry. The system was brought to widespread attention following recent high profile demonstrations showing how the SS7 network can be hacked to track movements, eavesdrop and gain access to third party services such as Facebook and WhatsApp.
Etienne Bonanno, Research and Development Manager, HAUD, said: “Stories in the media of phones and services such as Facebook and WhatsApp being hacked have resonated with a mainstream audience who are now concerned that they are vulnerable. It’s vitally important that MNOs act to allay these concerns, and the ability to filter between all three categories of SS7 traffic is necessary to block advanced hacks.
“The SS7 protocol is now 40 years old, and its ubiquity means that the industry will continue to rely on it for years to come. As time goes on, its shortcomings are becoming more apparent and criminals will look to identify further vulnerabilities to exploit. There is a pressing need for the industry to invest in securing the system or MNOs potentially risk their reputations becoming irreparably damaged.”
HAUD is actively engaged with the telecoms industry to create a more secure communications ecosystem as a member of the GSMA’s Fraud & Security working group (FASG). The group’s last meeting was hosted by HAUD in Malta, and these advanced features were developed to meet a specific need from operators identified by some of the world’s leading mobile security experts.
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