NewNet SMS Firewall Protects Networks from SIM Card Security Breaches
August 01, 2013
By Rachel Ramsey, TMCnet Web Editor
Mobility has become a common part of everyday life for both consumers and enterprises alike. However, as most technology areas are revealing, security remains one of the top concerns and hackers and cyber criminals continue to discover ways to take advantage of loosely enforced security provisions. Research from the International Association of IT Asset Managers (IAITAM) found that 51 percent of organizations have a bring your own device (BYOD) program that allows employees to use their personal mobile devices for work purposes, and out of the employees who access the enterprise remotely, slightly more than half use a secure key or digital pass, while 49 percent use a login name and password on a secure site.
People have a right to be concerned about the security on their mobile devices. Recently, the founder of Security Research Labs in Berlin, Karsten Nohl, found a security flaw that potentially opens up around 750 million SIM cards to hackers and cyber criminals who could obtain a SIM Card's 56-digit digital key, which then opens the SIM card for modification. That then allows hackers to send a virus to a mobile phone via an SMS which would enable them to eavesdrop on a caller, make purchases through mobile payment systems on behalf of the phone owner or even impersonate the phone's owner.
NewNet (News - Alert) Communication Technologies, a provider of next-generation mobile and fixed line networks solutions, offers a mobile messaging firewall feature that solves the SIM card messaging security breach and provides security, reliability and scalability to customers. The NewNet SMS Firewall works with most of the major SMS installations from other vendors and is already deployed with major carriers around the world to protect the network and their respective subscribers from this security breach.
Image via Shutterstock
The SMS Firewall supports advanced filtering and blocking to prevent unwanted SMS messages. With enhanced load distribution and throughput control, it provides overload protection from signaling system 7 (SS7) and Internet protocol (IP) message originators. The system’s SS7 routing and screening capabilities are based on user-definable rules that filter any incoming SMS message. In addition to the basic SS7 level detection and filtering, the SMS Firewall also provides protection through optional, intelligent modular filters, which provide deep SMS message inspection, such as content filtering, anti-flooding and pattern detection. "I believe this solution opens the door to help customers, worldwide, solve a potential problem in their networks,” said Krishna Viswanadham, GM of the NewNet Messaging Business Unit.
When combining the NewNet SMS Firewall with NewNet’s Personalized Services, additional functionality is offered to control messages. Mobile operators can decide to control messages themselves or give subscribers a powerful tool to control messages via short-codes or a Web GUI. Examples of filtering offered via Personalized Services are:
- Black-White List -- Messages originated from a specific MSISDN or short number/alphanumeric address are blocked/allowed based on a personal originator black or white list of the recipient
- Automatic Black List -- Allows to temporarily, or permanently, automatic blacklist a subscriber from sending or receiving messages, based on exceeding certain criteria
- Quota Filter -- Applies quotas to subscribers to reject SMS messages based on the number of messages per day/per hour/per minute duration
In addition to filters, NewNet offers home routing, which allows a mobile operator to take full control of the messages originated from a foreign message center that are addressed to subscribers roaming on a network. This offers a protected environment to any type of subscriber, limiting the risk of getting an infected message or phone entering the mobile operator network.
PJ Louis, CEO of NewNet, said, "This security feature integrates both of our messaging and payment security transaction units to add value added payment solutions for our customers."
Matt Thompson, NewNet SVP of Corporate Development, said, “This feature provides enhanced security for our new and existing messaging customers.”
For mobile operators to replace millions of old SIM cards is an operational and timely challenge. With NewNet’s SMS Firewall and SMS Personalized Services, mobile operators can address this security flaw from the inside of the network without upgrading millions of handsets, allowing enough time to replace old SIM cards.
To help partners take advantage of new opportunities and niche solutions in the communications market by leveraging NewNet’s mobile messaging and secure transaction platforms, the company offers the NewNet Conexus Partner Program, a flexible, benefits-rich channel partner program to facilitate collective success for NewNet and NewNet partners. Focused on mutual success, the NewNet Conexus Partner Program rewards NewNet partners for their expertise in key technologies and local markets with attractive incentives, innovative products and comprehensive training, as well as professional sales and marketing support.
“We will be actively prepping Conexus partners to engage and deploy globally," said Rick Landry, global director, channel sales.
To learn more, visit www.newnet.com.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson