Cyber-Telecom Crime Report 2019

21 March 2019
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by Trend Micro Research and Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3)

Telecommunications or telecom has been part of the evolution of modern society. It is seminal in the operation of businesses and has become a major industry itself. Deeply integrated even in day-to-day activities, it is an aspect of modern technology that is treated as a constant. However, the reality of its own threats and vulnerabilities exists. Given how critical telecom is, its threat landscape should be explored and understood as telecom technology continues to thrive.

This paper is written to serve as a guide of sorts to help stakeholders in the industry navigate the telecom threat landscape. As such, we begin by giving an overview of how telecom fraud or crimes translate to monetary gains for criminals. Then we go through key concepts of the telecom infrastructure, including the history of telecom threats. With the basics set, the meat of our discussion falls on several threats that we enumerated and divided into two kinds: infrastructure attacks and network-based telecom frauds. Lastly, we include case studies of noteworthy telecom frauds to demonstrate how these attacks play out in real-world situations. In the end, we conclude how collaboration, cooperation, and sharing of information among all stakeholders will allow telecom security to evolve at the same speed as telecom technology itself.