SIM Swap Detection with IPification — Why It Is Important and How to Implement It


With SIM swapping cases hitting an all-time high, we’ve released IPification SIM swap detection as a standalone product. Here’s how it works.

SIM swapping is still one of the biggest challenges the cybersecurity industry faces. It incurs huge costs for both service providers and mobile network operators, as well as considerable direct losses from damaged end users. Let me explain how IPification can help and what our technical team has done to prevent SIM swap fraud through real-time detection.

What is SIM Swapping?

My colleague and IPification president Harry Cheung wrote about SIM swapping almost two years ago. Since then, not much has changed. It is still one of the biggest issues in the cybersecurity industry today.

SIM swapping is a scenario where a criminal relies on your stolen identity to trick a mobile network operator into issuing a new SIM card with your phone number.

Once the new SIM card with your number is active, they take advantage of your online accounts before you even notice you don’t have a network.

Perpetrators usually obtain a user’s personal information such as first and last name, social security number, and ID. With that, they trick the mobile network operator into reissuing your phone number onto a new SIM card.

Now, if someone manages to learn your username and password, you are usually protected with an additional layer of security under the principle of two-factor authentication. However, since most online services today use only SMS-based 2FA as the additional layer of mobile authentication, hackers have all they need — control of the user’s phone number.

Upon login, they will receive the SMS one-time code, put it in, and take over the user’s account. When this happens, consumers face losses, but so do service providers and mobile network operators. Even worse, these businesses’ brand reputation suffers, resulting in future revenue loss.

Do you remember the $220 million lawsuit AT&T faced over stolen cryptocurrency due to a successful SIM swap attack? Well, the blow to their brand reputation might have cost them even more than that, in the end.

With the increasing cost and frequency of this type of fraud, I think we can all agree that this issue needs to be addressed as soon as possible. So, how do we prevent SIM swapping?

SIM Swap Fraud Prevention with IPification

When you consider how SIM swapping succeeds, it’s clear that it all comes down to human error.

Mobile network operator employees can be tricked or blackmailed or be in on the job — and we’ll never be able to completely eliminate factors like these. In fact, that uncertainty is precisely why we use the assistance of technology, and it’s precisely what the tech team and I had in mind when developing IPification’s SIM swap detection.

Even if a hacker manages to trick the operator into issuing a new SIM card with a user’s number, IPification SIM swap detection prevents any SMS authentication requests if a new SIM card is detected, therefore safeguarding the users’ assets as well as the operator’s budget and more importantly, brand reputation.

Key features and functionalities of IPification’s SIM swap product are:

1. Interrupt Authentication
Any authentication request is stopped when the user confirms that they are using a new SIM card. This prevents any authentication-dependant transactions or actions from being performed — especially important when banking and financial information stored on the user’s phone might be compromised.

2. Real-Time Notification
Get notified immediately when a new SIM card is detected, so you can inform your user about the change and take a reactive stand against potential fraud.

Once the user confirms that they are using a new SIM card, the authentication request picks up where it left off, once again enabling secure and seamless mobile authentication.

Key Use Cases for IPification SIM Swap Detection:

1. Preventing User Account Takeover and

2. Preventing Crypto-Theft

Because we see IPification SIM Swap Detection as an essential product, we’ve decided to make it available on its own, independent of our other authentication and verification solutions. Mobile network operators around the world are implementing IPification SIM Swap Detection.

How to Implement IPification SIM Swap Detection as MNO

IPification SIM Swap Detection is available to mobile network operators and service providers as a separate product, and can be enabled in two ways:

    Independent of GMID-BOX used by IPification authentication and user verification. That means that mobile network operators can implement this fraud prevention solution through their SIM swap API, thus preventing account takeover and any other theft.
    If a mobile network operator has IPifications’ GMID-BOX, SIM Swap can be enabled via our technology tool.

Ready to increase your user loyalty with IPification? Let’s talk.

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