SIM boxes are a growing threat all over the world. Opportunistic parties create a cheap, bulk SMS messaging leveraging consumer-grade technology which any person can easily secure. The practice is illegal and puts the end customer, the Messaging deliverer and the MNO at risk. The whole delivery chain is negatively impacted.
High amounts of traffic from international networks can point to a weak spot in a network that could lead to firewall bypass. International bypass traffic can often be difficult to control because high volumes of traffic can pass through a network in a very short space of time. This badly affects an MNO’s ability to manage and monetize its traffic.
In Bolivia, we were able to detect 35% traffic of international origin.
Testing results for fraudulent activity in Bolivia
Extremely low pricing often deserves close inspection to make sure that proper business practices are being followed. With Bolivia, we found that a small but significant percentage (55%) of their SMSs were delivered at the lowest price possible.
“55% of SMSs delivered through hubs were delivered at the low price range of €0.001 to €0.005”
Out of all the Hubs tested, 5 of their hubs showed very high delivery rates (over 80%) for the lowest rate on the network. It is highly inefficient and concerning to focus high efficiency and service on the lowest pricing.
High delivery rates for ultra-low-cost hubs are a red flag that reveals many potential risks. These risks could involve sim-box termination or content manipulation. The probability of these types of bypass occurring is very high, especially when terminated via local hubs, aggregators, or content providers.
Collating the findings of the Bolivia network analysis
Here is a list of the challenges existing within Bolivia’s network:
When all these risks are considered:
But what are the true risks of these findings and why do MNOs need to take them seriously?
There are three major threats that emerge from the findings of our network analysis:
Each network practice that reduces the efficiency of an MNO causes it to lose money. This could be Sim-box fraud, pricing imbalances, or message content manipulation. Now is the time for MNOs to optimize their systems to take back control of their own networks.
By allowing outside parties to take advantage of network weaknesses, MNOs lose control. They cannot direct their own success, as outside forces are actively sabotaging their strategy. This often affects the financial success of MNOs and reduces customer satisfaction.
In a regulated industry like telecommunications, compliance is an important factor. MNOs stand to compromise the privacy and security of their customers if fraudulent schemes are left unchecked.
Bolivia’s network infrastructure demonstrates some areas of weakness. If MNOs want to optimize their systems to maximize revenue opportunities while keeping customer retention levels high, now is the time to take back control of their operations. To combat common network attacks, MNOs should monitor and test their networks in order to take control of their revenues and customers.
The generation of fake traffic from legitimate websites and apps is proliferating and stiff resistance is required to […]