Rohit Maheshwari, Subex

Subex, RAG to leverage Blockchain for combatting telco network fraud

Subex, a leading telecom analytics solutions provider, has joined hands with the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), to provide a blockchain-based fraud management solution to its customers.

As part of this alliance, Subex becomes part of the RAG Wangiri Blockchain Consortium, which seeks to use Blockchain technology to gather real-time industry threat intelligence about fraudsters. The consortium includes some of the world’s leading Communications Service Providers (CSPs) from North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Rohit Maheshwari, Head of Products & Strategy, Subex, tells us more. Excerpts:

V&D: How is the Blockchain-based fraud management solution going to work?

Rohit Maheshwari: In simple terms, Blockchain enables collaboration within the fraud management community and facilitates real-time and secure exchange of intelligence about fraudsters. Every telco invests in state-of-the-art fraud management systems, to protect themselves against the ever-improving fraudsters.

However, when fraudsters are detected on one network, they still have a large playing field available considering the number of telcos in operation across the world.

A simple solution to this would be to enable a synchronized, crowd-sourced, active intelligence database, that gets updated with information about fraudsters as soon as they are detected on one network. This way, one telco identifying a fraudster leads to the blacklisting of that fraudster on all other telcos’ networks as well.

There have been past efforts in building offline databases of fraudsters that were shared amongst telcos periodically, but, that practice still provided fraudsters with a window of a few days to weeks to carry out their operations. Blockchain makes real-time intel sharing possible.

V&D: Elaborate how you have managed the Wangiri fraud.

Rohit Maheshwari: ‘Wangiri’ is a Japanese word meaning ‘one (ring) and cut’. It’s a scam where criminals trick you into calling premium and often international numbers. It is estimated that Wangiri results in about $1.82 billion fraud loss.

Subex’s ROC Fraud Management (ROC FM) solution combats Wangiri fraud using a combination of AI, heuristics, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and known fraudulent number intelligence, such as those present in crowd sourced RAG Wangiri blockchain ledger. Customers have seen faster detection, and as much as 25x improved detection in fraud cases.

V&D: How will the fraud management system link to the Blockchain ledger?

Rohit Maheshwari: The Subex ROC Fraud Management System hosts a marketplace of fraud intelligence data providers. The goal of marketplace is the easy access to global sources of fraud intelligence data. It also supports crowdsourcing and community contribution of intelligence.

The RAG Wangiri blockchain ledger is an important data source in the marketplace. The ledger is integrated into ROC FM as a real time API with both types of operations, i.e., read from the ledger and write back into the ledger, thus fostering community collaboration to fight the menace of fraud.

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