On 10 June 2021, more than a hundred viewers tuned in to watch ‘Someone is LISTENING To Your Calls Right Now’ – a virtual event organised by Securemetric in partnership with GSMK, a market leader for CryptoPhones. The 2-hour webinar saw top experts from GSMK share their knowledge and expertise on the dangers and threats mobile phone users unknowingly face on a daily basis. Moderated by Securemetric’s Goh Jo Wee, the audience – comprising mostly of professionals from various large organisations and SMEs – were taken on eye-opening journey on the most common, yet unnoticed tricks fraudsters use to gain access to users’ data and information.
The webinar started off with Guido Stock’s enlightening introduction of GSMK and its core offerings, including ‘Overwatch’, ‘Oversight Intrusion Detection System’ and other mobile security solutions that are implemented in over 50 countries at international institutions, governmental and non-governmental organisations. In his session, Guido, GSMK’s Head of Sales and Marketing, spoke about the challenges of secure voice communication. He discussed the importance of quick and reliable transportation of information and how information was and is still used for someone’s advantage or for the disadvantage of others – thus resulting in the malicious attempts of third parties to intercept transmitted information.
As elaborated by Guido, despite evolving technology, attackers still manage to outsmart them. He also broached the controversial topic of lawful interception – which unbeknownst to many mobile users, have been in place since the beginning of digital telephony such as surveillance programmes like PRISM and ECHELON. Guido advised that to avoid being compromised by malware or bugs, a dedicated secure phone that doesn’t just offer encryption but also protects the phone itself against attacks from the outside is recommended, such as GSMK’s secure CryptoPhones.
Following Guido was Product Manager at GSMK, Slobodan Ninkov with his session on how to increase telco security posture by detecting malicious cells. Slobodan described how phones can easily be hijacked by a special hardware known as ‘fake base stations’, or ISMI-Catcher. As fake base stations can sometimes easily pass off as ‘regular’ base stations, sensitive information and data may be inadvertently exposed to the hacker during the connection process. Slobodan opined that the best ways for mobile users to protect themselves and their devices are with Baseband Firewall and tamper-resistant crypto phones.
Capping off the virtual event was an exciting discussion and demonstration by two more of GSMK’s experts – Jens Irrgang and Tobias Engel. To eager listeners, Jens, Director of Signaling Security at GSMK gave a detailed explanation on how GSMK conducts security assessments for mobile operators by identifying network vulnerabilities and helping operators fix them. To further emphasise his point, he was joined by Tobias, GSMK’s Senior Security Researcher, to demonstrate the intricate workings of cellular networks and how easily devices are left vulnerable. In their first demonstration on ‘Location Tracking & SMS Fraud’, the experts cleverly showed the internal workings of cellular networks as well as the equipment that uses this security vulnerability to steal data from users. For their second demonstration, the duo illustrated International Revenue Shared Fraud (IRSF) – one of the most popular and persistent attacks in the telecommunication industry that results in an estimated loss of a few billion dollars annually.
The insightful webinar ended with a live Q&A session from the audience, which saw the speakers answer more than a dozen questions related to the topics that were discussed. Each registered audience member was also given a link to view the webinar on-demand.