Mumbai: It is a widely acknowledged fact that cyber criminals frequently use SIM cards that are acquired using fraudulent documentation. These scammers have developed sophisticated methods to create counterfeit identity and address documents that are nearly impossible to spot through individual analysis.
Effort to weed out non-genuine phone numbers
To tackle this issue, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has launched a new system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition-powered solutions (ASTR) to scan the entire subscriber base of telecom service providers (TSPs) and weed out any non-genuine phone numbers.
The system analyses images and subscriber databases provided by TSPs to detect cases where the same face is associated with different names.
21,000 SIM cards acquired using forged documents
In a recent analysis of its subscriber database, conducted by the Maharashtra LSA (licenced service areas), over 21,000 SIM cards were suspected to have been acquired using forged documents. These cards have since been disconnected, and the police are taking action against the individuals and sellers involved in these fraudulent activities. Service providers have also blacklisted these points of sale and SIM sellers.
The ASTR project has the potential to significantly reduce cybercrime by making it easier to detect and disconnect fake SIM cards. The DoT plans to continue to develop and improve this innovative and indigenous AI-based system to further strengthen cybersecurity measures in India.
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