During recent decades, the ubiquity of cellular networks and the abundance of smartphones has led to a dramatic increase in the number of mobile users. Reports illustrate that the number of mobile subscribers was grown from 4.4 billion in 2015 to about 4.6 billion by the end of 2016. It is also estimated that the number of mobile users will be more than 7.4 billion by the end of 2024.
This impressive growth in mobile users has introduced the mobile industry as an essential motive force behind the global economy. Reports have shown that the revenue of mobile operators was 1.15 trillion dollars in 2014 and about 1.4 trillion dollars at the end of 2020. This incredible increase in the rate of mobile network revenue declares that the industry is a tempting resource of income even for fraudsters. So like many other profitable industries such as banking, mobile operators should consider the hazards of unauthorized access to their network. They should be certain about the security and impenetrability of any part of their networks. As mobile operators attempt to compensate for existing defects in their networks and decline the revenue leakage, attackers also seriously try to exploit the vulnerabilities in the mobile networks.
SMS is a key contributor to fraudsters to help them attack mobile networks and abusing their services. The vast majority of operators in the world usually face various messaging frauds such as:
- Spam messages
- Fake SMS/SMSC
- SS7 SCCP spoofing
- Special SMSs (Silent, Binary)
- Malicious messages containing viruses and malware
PA-SMS Firewall addresses mobile network vulnerabilities related to SMS and allows the operator to shield their networks and subscribers from different kinds of SMS attacks and malicious activities. This solution is designed based on a multi-level architecture to monitor and control all fields of SMS packets and make decisions regarding them during different steps.
Using customized filters, PA-SMS Firewall can recognize trusted packets and delivers them to the related receivers; whilst it hands over remained packets to the next level for more processing. To detect malicious packets as soon as they arrive at the network, PA-SMS Firewall should be installed at the edge of the network to catch any incoming SMS packet before it can be spread over the network.
PA-SMS Firewall is a transparent node; so other elements in the network know nothing about its presence. It does not manipulate safe messages and just forwards them to the next node, but for suspicious messages, it blocks them and adds the source number to the blacklist.
The spam detection process is done during multiple complicated steps using advanced statistical algorithms, artificial intelligence, and data mining algorithms. This solution is equipped with various in-house developed text mining algorithms and utilizes them in a parallel way to decrease processing time for some special kinds of spam messages. In this way, the architecture provides a near real-time, high precise mechanism for recognizing safe packets. Anti-spoofing and anti-faking detection capabilities are also supported according to IR71 GSMA document.
PA-SMS Firewall guarantees:
- A secure and reliable network
- Full control over SMS traffic of the Network
- High customer experience by protecting them against malicious SMSs
- Easy deployment without any changes in the network topology
- Scalable, flexible, and modular architecture with the capability of implementing new features
PA-SMS Firewall working mechanism is by:
- Analyzing and blocking messages based on their source/destination address (and other MAP fields)
- Near real-time detection of trusted messages among others
- Providing user-defined alarms based on flexible thresholds
- Applying advanced and customizable filters to messages
- Protecting the network against DoS attacks
- Supported standards: GSMA IR.70, IR.71, IR.80
- Detailed trend analysis and real-time reports of SMS activity.
- Real-Time Alerting System
- Powerful Rules Engine
- Blocking malicious messages (with returning error messages)
- Protecting roamed-out subscribers: messages are routed through SMS Firewall for screening, before being delivered to roamers.
- Integrating with any network’s Signaling Transfer Point (STP) or Signaling Gateways.
- Support of either SIGTRAN M2PA or M3UA links
- Highly scalable, to handle large increases of traffic with minimal upgrade costs and effort
- Gray route detection and prevention
- SMS bandwidth control according to the licensing cost
- SPAM Detection
- Detailed EDR and CDR