The Government’s Steps to Combat SIM Card Frauds | How You Can Keep Yourself Safe?

Story Highlights
  • SIM Jacking
  • SIM Swapping
  • Efforts by the Government

Improvements in both hardware and software have resulted in some remarkable new kinds of user experiences. However, as we acquire access to more advanced technology, we also increase our vulnerability to hacking and other forms of cybercrime.

The number one entry point for hackers and data leaks is a person’s phone number, and as such, we should all be aware of the dangers of using mobile devices.

This article explores the many security vulnerabilities that make SIM cards vulnerable to misuse and compromise. We will also explore what Pakistan’s government is doing to thwart the sales of fake SIMs cards.

SIM Jacking

A SIM-jacking attack is a hack in which a hacker gains access to your SIM card by sending a text message to your phone. Typically, these messages will include false information and a link. If you click that link, anybody can access your SIM card, calls, and messages on your phone, including your location and personal information.

Once you click the link, a new browser window will appear, instructing your SIM to send back your location and other details. If your phone is connected to the internet, it is already a victim of theft.

SIM Swapping

To perform SIM swapping, the hacker must assume your identity and commit fraud in your name.

Your user data, financial history, security questions, credit card information, and phone number are just some information a hacker will need to access your account.

After that, they’ll phone your wireless carrier pretending to be you and saying your SIM card was stolen or misplaced. They will provide the provider with their bank account and other identifying details. After the hacker has persuaded the service provider that they are you, the hacker will be issued a new SIM card for their “new phone.”

Efforts by the Government

To prevent the distribution of counterfeit SIM cards, a new and improved biometric verification mechanism has been developed.

Cell phone providers will utilize the Multi-Finger Biome­t­ric Verification System (MBVS) to check the identity of customers before giving them a new SIM card. On Friday, the 23rd of December, 2022, a contract was signed at PTA headquarters between Nadra and telecom ope­ra­tors.

Officials are certain that the new approach will make it difficult to get a new SIM card using fabricated fingerprints.

Before issuing a new or duplicate SIM card, the new system will need the impressions of more than one finger instead of just the thumb impression used in the old system.

However, these initiatives can only work if they are backed up by users who are aware and have learned how to manage the safe usage of SIM cards. 

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