Fraud & Identity Fraud & Identity

Fraud & Identity Featured Article

April 19, 2017

SIM Box Fraud Ring Busted in Hyderabad

The ongoing tension between India and Pakistan has been going on for quite some time now, and doesn't look to abate any time soon. A recent discovery of massive fraud in India, connected directly to Pakistan by some reports, suggests that the tensions between the two countries will indeed keep right on going.

A recent investigation undertaken by the Telangana Police discovered a massive network of fraud operations in Hyderabad, featuring not only eight illegal voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) exchanges, but also over 30 subscriber identity module (SIM) boxes and a host of SIM cards.

For those not familiar, a SIM box—according to one investigator—is a device that routes VoIP calls made by users in foreign locations. When a call is received via caller ID, the number incoming looks like—in this case—an Indian number instead of a number from its actual location.  Thus the caller's identity is obscured, with potential illicit effects to follow.

Further reports tied this massive fraud network to Pakistani intelligence operations, which used these networks to call a variety of Indian military operations to get information on troop movement and deployment.  Authorities first discovered the fraud network after arresting a software engineer from south Delhi and nine of his associates, which gave authorities in the region the necessary fodder to pursue the operation.

SIM box fraud, according to word from the Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA), notes that SIM box fraud has been considered a major emerging threat since 2013, and now accounts for losses of better than $3 billion annually.

That's a major problem by anyone's standards, and while the geopolitical implications of India and Pakistan having a new reason to start shooting at each other is disconcerting enough, it's the discovery of a major new potential fraud point that should have business users paying attention. Thankfully, there are ways around such a problem, primarily by turning to a growing variety of fraud solutions. The biggest reason that India had the problem it did is that it likely wasn't keeping a weather eye out for such fraudulent measures targeting it. That lack of vigilance could have been much more costly than it was, and though India ultimately stopped the problem, it serves as an object lesson to the rest of us that the cost of security is vigilance.

Don't let India's disaster become your business' disaster. Plan ahead with some sound fraud protection tools and potentially prevent some significant problems. While you likely won't have to worry about Pakistani intelligence looking for troop movements from your business, there's plenty of proprietary information that could be just as valuable.

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