The GSMA defines phishing as an attempt “to steal consumers’ personal identity data and financial account credentials”. SMS phishing (also known as SMiShing) tricks mobile phone owners into downloading a Trojan horse, virus or other malware onto their phones.

How do fraudsters phish?

Emails have been a stable phishing method but, over the years, we have become savvier to the signs of email phishing attempts. SMS phishing attacks, on the other hand, are relatively newer than email phishing schemes and are proving to be a successful venture for criminals as:

  • There are more than 7.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide;
  • Approximately two thirds of adult mobile phone owners use text messaging;
  • More than 90% of text messages are opened and read within seconds of being received.

What do fraudsters phish for?

Cell phone owners are duped into sharing confidential information, which may include passwords and credit card details. The fraudsters go on to use these details for malicious purposes such as monetary and identity theft.

What are the repercussions of SMS phishing for MNOs?

Since it is virtually impossible to pin down phishing criminals, victims of phishing scams may be quick to project feelings of anger toward their network provider. This could potentially lead to financial losses brought on by subscriber disgruntlement, reputational damage and subscriber churn.

How can HAUD Systems assist MNOs in putting a stop to SMS phishing attacks?

At HAUD, we have developed a complete suite of proprietary modules intended to systematically control all incoming and outgoing traffic on your network and as a result, put a stop to SMS phishing attacks, amongst others.

Together, the modules form a robust SMS firewall, allowing MNOs to monitor, block and analyse all the SMS traffic entering or leaving the network.

Here’s a short overview about each module:

BulkGuard – A pre-emptive solution that singles out and detects machine generated or bulk traffic by identifying traffic patterns.

MapScreen – Screens GSM MAP packets based on op code and type based error suppression.

HardBlock GT – Enables the whitelisting of roaming and interconnect partners whilst blocking problematic GT ranges.

HardBlock SID – Permits traffic screening based on Sender IDs and screens traffic according to pre-configured parameters.

PhraseBlock – Analyses the message body of the SMS and screens it by using pre-selected keywords or phrases.

HardBlock IMSI – Offers the flexibility and control to manage traffic according to destination IMSI.

BasicStatistics – Provides MNOs with up to date statistics in graphical format of incoming or outgoing traffic.

To learn more about how each module can counter the negative effects of SMS phishing attacks whilst protecting your network and subscribers, contact a HAUD specialist today on [email protected] for more information.

Sources:

http://www.gsma.com/technicalprojects/faq/what-is-phishing

http://searchmobilecomputing.techtarget.com/definition/SMiShing

http://www.networkworld.com/article/2164211/infrastructure-management/how-to-avoid-becoming-a-victim-of-smishing-sms-phishing.html