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Zero Trust to Beat Mobile Phishing

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DateFriday, November 06, 2020

Zero Trust to Beat Mobile Phishing

Cellusys & MetaCert pioneer the use of Zero Trust & realtime security to help mobile operators combat SMS phishing fraud

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Telco solutions company Cellusys has teamed up with internet security firm MetaCert to provide a world-first SMS security solution to combat cyberattacks which have been on the increase throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the 'FBI Internet Crime Report', phishing attacks in 2018 reportedly cost Americans over $50 million and the report also shows the prevalence of phishing attacks has increased, become very much more sophisticated and highly lucrative.

Mobile operators claim their ability to identify and block an attack within 24 hours, and whilst advanced SMS firewalls are able detect and drop large-scale smishing attempts, in reality none are able to positively verify the security of the URLs in SMS messages to the end user, offering ineffective or no protection against fraudulent SMS messages at all. 


Metacert, the open security protocol for the internet, is the first company to enable a Zero Trust strategy for web access with browser-based security software that protects organisations from the world’s most sophisticated cyberattacks such as phishing, malware and financial fraud.

CEO Paul Walsh (pictured) explains; “Many financial services companies and government institutions have used SMS to contact people offering assistance and advice throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Mobile phone users will always be exposed to fraud and malware as long as networks continue to focus on filtering out known danger instead of telling consumers when they’re safe.” 

With the new Cellulsys / Metacert approach using Zero Trust methodology, every URL contained in an SMS message is checked against MetaCert’s threat intelligence system and the links categorized as “dangerous” are immediately blocked. Uniquely, “unknown URLs” are similarly assumed to be dangerous. Carriers can then either redirect customers to a warning page, provide a strong warning SMS, or block access to URLs that are not verified.

This approach to web access reduces the risk of a phishing-led cyberattack by more than 98% because consumers are able to make better informed choices about who to trust whenever they open an SMS message. 

Brendan Cleary, CEO of Dublin based Cellusys, says SMS Verification can eradicate smishing and mobile fraud; “Giving subscribers this kind of visibility increases their loyalty to the network, and is a very different kind of smishing solution. Adding MetaCert’s technology to our portfolio has generated a great deal of interest from networks, as an enhancement to the anti-fraud capabilities of our SMS Firewall.”

The solution is currently in beta and expected to go live before the end of 2020.

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