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HAUD adds SS7 Category 1, 2, and 3 filtering functionality to mobile network firewall

August 2016 by Marc Jacob

HAUD has introduced advanced filtering technology to differentiate between three distinct categories of MAP signalling traffic to further improve its SS7 firewall. The update provides additional layers of filtering for the company’s MAPScreen module, which allows for sophisticated screening of GSM MAP packets, a key type of traffic of the SS7 protocol that facilitates roaming, SMS and other services. The upgraded MAPScreen module gives MNOs the power to identify and verify all Category 1, 2 and 3 SS7 traffic, which are increasingly being used for fraudulent and criminal activity. The GSMA defines Category 1 traffic as MAP messages that would ordinarily stay within the same network, Category 2 traffic as signalling data to roaming subscribers from their home network, and Category 3 traffic as data about the subscriber from the current visited network.

By being able to detect and filter all three categories of traffic, illegal or fraudulent communications can be identified, blocked, and the traffic source determined. This helps provide protection against call and SMS interception, IMSI stealing, and location tracking - vulnerabilities exploited in recent high profile hacks. Enabling the core functions of both fixed-line and mobile telephony, SS7 acts as the legacy backbone protocol of the global telecommunication industry. The system was brought to widespread attention following recent high profile demonstrations showing how the SS7 network can be hacked to track movements, eavesdrop and gain access to third party services such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

HAUD is actively engaged with the telecoms industry to create a more secure communications ecosystem as a member of the GSMA’s Fraud & Security working group (FASG). The group’s last meeting was hosted by HAUD in Malta, and these advanced features were developed to meet a specific need from operators identified by some of the world’s leading mobile security experts.

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