R Systems SS7 Firewall helping mobile operators to secure networks

Recent news confirmed by Germany’s O2 Telefonica report that cyber attackers used SS7 flaw to steal money from the bank accounts of German customers. The hackers bypassed the two-factor authentication (2FA) codes sent to online banking customers and redirected incoming SMS messages for selected customers to the attackers.

While telecoms confirm SS7 abuse in more than this one occasion, the incidents have reopened the discussion about security blunders in the Signaling System 7 protocol. In spite of the experts’ long-year warnings and the acknowledged vulnerabilities, the questions still hanging are: What next? Can such hacks be avoided and how?  How can mobile operators protect their customers from attacks?

Given the size of the global network and the number of telecoms that use it, specialists agree that it could take years to fully secure the system. However, R Systems has already answered these questions with a real life implemented SS7 firewall solution. The firewall filters all traffic which can damage the network, it can hide the subscribers’ information so when the attacker tries to use fake subscriber information, the network does not respond to the operations.

The solution uses Redis in memory cache for mass processing and a rules engine to analyse input. Using this solution, normal traffic is forwarded for service, whereas if the rules engine detects an attack, the event is rejected. One of the advantages of using a rules engine is that it allows the creation of a dynamic solution which can be enhanced and new attack patterns can be created and put into production easily.

The solution was designed to provide for an undefined number of scenarios and operations needed to protect the networks against attacks.

For more details about how R Systems can help operators to tackle these types of attacks, the strategies to protect privacy and possible solutions, please get in touch with one of our solution experts.

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