A2P Messages & SMS Fraud 

The use of mobile phones has become ubiquitous in today’s world. With the growing dependency on mobile devices, the need for secure and reliable communication channels has become increasingly important. In this regard, SMS (Short Message Service) has become one of the most popular means of communication. However, as SMS usage grows, so do the threats that come with it, such as spam, fraud, and malware. This is where an SMS Firewall comes into the picture. 

In 2023, Globally Mobile Operators experienced 75% of new and emerging fraud incidents. During the pandemic, the A2P market flourished as businesses and consumers across all verticals adopted digital habits. But the flip side of this boom was a dramatic increase in related criminal activity.  

Figure 1: Fraudulent SMS  

Wavenet’s Prime SMS Firewall is a system that is designed to protect mobile networks from malicious SMS traffic. It acts as a filter between the mobile network and the SMS messages that are being sent or received. The primary goal of an SMS Firewall is to detect and block any messages that are harmful to the network or its users. This includes spam messages, phishing attempts, and other types of fraudulent message types. 

The Prime SMS Firewall operates in real-time, monitoring all SMS traffic that flows through the mobile network. It uses advanced algorithms to analyse the content of each message and determine whether it poses a threat or not. The SMS Firewall can be configured to block messages based on specific keywords, sender ID, content, and other factors. 

The importance of SMS Firewall can be seen in the fact that SMS-based frauds have become a significant issue for mobile network operators. For instance, SMS-based phishing attacks, also known as smishing, have become increasingly common. In these attacks, the attacker sends a fraudulent SMS to a victim, asking them to click on a link or provide personal information. Once the victim clicks on the link or provides the information, the attacker gains access to their personal information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data. 

Similarly, SMS spam is another significant issue that mobile network operators face. SMS spam is unsolicited messages that are sent to many users. These messages are usually advertising a product or service, and they can be very annoying for the users. SMS spam can also cause a strain on the mobile network, leading to increased costs and reduced efficiency. To tackle these issues, mobile network operators deploy SMS Firewall systems.  

Regardless of the implementation, an SMS Firewall system comprises two primary components: the SMS Gateway and the SMS Firewall. The SMS Gateway is responsible for receiving and transmitting SMS messages, while the SMS Firewall is responsible for analysing the SMS messages and filtering out any malicious messages. 

The SMS Gateway receives SMS messages from the user’s device and routes them to the appropriate destination. The SMS Gateway is usually integrated with the mobile network’s SMSC (Short Message Service Center). Once the SMS Gateway receives a message, it forwards it to the SMS Firewall for analysis. 

The SMS Firewall Engine is responsible for analysing the content of the SMS message and determining whether it is malicious or not. The SMS Firewall Engine uses various techniques to analyse the SMS message, such as keyword filtering, sender ID filtering, content filtering, and other advanced techniques. If the SMS Firewall Engine determines that the message is malicious, it blocks the message and alerts the mobile network operator. 

Figure 2: SMS Firewall 

In addition to blocking malicious SMS messages, Wavenet’s SMS Firewall system can also be used to monitor SMS traffic and generate reports. These reports can be used to analyse SMS traffic patterns, detect any abnormal behaviour, and identify potential security threats. 

In conclusion, SMS Firewall is an essential system that mobile network operators must deploy to protect their networks and users from malicious SMS traffic. As the usage of SMS grows, so do the threats that come with it. SMS-based frauds, spam, and malware are significant issues that can cause financial losses and reputational damage to mobile network operators. 

Contact us for a demo of Wavenet’s SMS Firewall system: Contact Us


  1. https://globaltelcoconsult.com/the-rising-tide-of-a2p-sms-fraud