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The Menace of AIT Fraud: How it Endangers Mobile Authentication and What You Can Do About It.

The Menace of AIT Fraud

AIT, also called Artificially Inflated Traffic, is a tactic employed by fraudulent actors or rival businesses to illicitly profit from processing business messaging traffic. This deceptive technique involves the creation of fake accounts through automated bots, triggering OTP SMS to mobile numbers. The fraudsters collaborate with rogue parties to stop this inflated traffic, preventing it from reaching the intended mobile subscribers and allowing them to claim a share of the revenue intended for the operator.

This interception not only undermines operator revenue but also disrupts the delivery of OTP SMS to end-users. The rogue party and the fraudster exploit this situation to claim a share of the revenue. This cycle is often repeated, especially in long-distance communications scenarios where the potential for higher income is more significant due to elevated delivery costs to international destinations.

The growing prevalence of AIT fraud seriously threatens operator revenue derived from Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and OTP SMS traffic. Using AI to mimic human traffic patterns worsens the challenge, making it difficult for enterprises and operators to detect and prevent such fraudulent activities. The consequence is substantial financial losses and increased vulnerability to exploitation in mobile authentication.

Factors contributing to the rise of AIT

Three main factors contribute to the increase of AIT. 
These are:

  1. Rise in A2P SMS Charges
    Fraudsters are increasingly motivated to carry out AIT attacks due to the rising profit potential associated with such activities.
  2. AI’s Impact on being undetectable
    AIT benefits from its lack of regulation within current SMS standards, allowing it to bypass firewalls effectively, mainly because OTPs are not classified as Spam. 
  3. Provider’s Financial Incentives: 
    Parties involved in AIT seek to stay competitive by producing more traffic through fraudulent ways. 

Dealing with this kind of fraud is not just about losing money. Businesses can also suffer damage to their reputation. It extends to reputational damage, as the unauthorized spamming of OTP SMS messages can paint an organization as illegitimate or untrustworthy. This bad reputation can push away potential and existing customers, making it even harder for the business to generate revenue.

Businesses can take several protective measures to tackle the issue of SMS-based fraud. For instance, to prevent automated bots, they can limit the number of SMS requests allowed from the same IP address and use tools to block potential bots. They can also randomly monitor messages and track the number of OTP SMS messages delivered successfully. Moreover, before implementing new technologies, businesses should carefully examine and identify any vulnerabilities fraudsters could exploit. This way, they can stay ahead of the game and safeguard themselves from fraud.

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