Jump to content

Telecom operators must put SIM cards questions to rest


webfact

Recommended Posts

EDITORIAL

Telecom operators must put SIM cards questions to rest
By The Nation

 

Recent arrest of three Chinese in Aranyaprathet should ring security alarm bells

 

BANGKOK: -- When hundreds of thousands of SIM cards were seized from suspects who allegedly used them to boost the numbers of “likes” on social media pages, it’s natural to focus criticism on human online vanity. What should really alarm people, however, is what if someone with darker intentions got his or her hands on such a large amount of SIM cards.

 

In other words, what if a terrorist was in possession of such a massive amount of SIM cards? If this case is any indication, the scary scenario is not too far from reality. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications (NBTC) is demanding an answer from the three big telecom operators – True Corp, AIS and DTAC – who should come clean on why such a vast number of their products end up in the suspects’ hands.

 

A few days ago, police captured three Chinese suspects who allegedly had over 340,000 SIM cards. The trio reportedly told interrogators they used the SIM cards to generate “likes” and page views online in exchange for hefty fees. 

 

The manipulation was aimed at creating a false impression about online popularity, which could mislead advertisers or investors.

 

Boosting “likes” and page views is common. What makes people wonder – and some shiver – is how easy it apparently was for just a few people to hold such an enormous amount of SIM cards. Everyone knows how dangerous they can be if ending up in the wrong hands, and in many places, Thailand excluded, there are strict rules governing their purchase.

 

This issue is not a corporation public relations matter; it’s corporate responsibility. Selling SIM cards is important to the business bottom line, but in today’s world, it’s important to public safety or security as well. America allows its citizens to buy guns easily and we all know what happens. It can be a lot worse with easily purchasable SIM cards.

 

Preliminary reports suggest the three major telecom operators have been willing to fully cooperate with the NBTC inquiry. But there has been speculation that many of the seized SIM cards could have been bought in big lots, meaning irregular purchase methods may have been used. But whether the SIM cards were bought through normal or irregular channels, the companies must give full cooperation and not be afraid to lose face.

 

Several countries acknowledge that prepaid SIM cards constitute a security concern. Measures introduced include recording customers’ data and re-registering current users. These measures need to be constantly reviewed as, over the years and due to an exponential expansion in the prepaid SIM card market, the practice of recording customers’ details has eroded. For example, some retailers had recorded names like ‘Santa Claus’, while other retailers simply record their own names as having purchased the prepaid SIM card, according to a study in a neighbouring country.

 

A lot of blame can be put on the retailers, but, nonetheless, the main telecom service providers certainly have information on things like unusual sales jumps or “best-performing” sales outlets. It’s this kind of information that the companies should look into, and share what they know with the authorities. 

 

At present, the three Chinese suspects are being detained on charges of working without a permit and of possessing smuggled mobile phones. No Thai laws can prosecute them for manipulating social media, as they reportedly targeted only Chinese products.

 

Boosting “likes” or page views, however, is the least of our concerns. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/opinion/today_editorial/30318432

 
thenation_logo.jpg
-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-06-19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would be interested how they had them and activated as need be registered via ID card or passport, some hooky links with the telecom businesses possibly !

Would cost quite a lot in time and cash to keep that many sims active ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, BuckBee said:

I would be interested how they had them and activated as need be registered via ID card or passport, some hooky links with the telecom businesses possibly !

Would cost quite a lot in time and cash to keep that many sims active ...

Yeah, along with the details of what actually happens when people register them legally.  Who makes the data entry? Where is the data entry made?  What is the data entry put into?  Front end verification checks of any sort done, or can somebody put in any 10 digit passport number, email, etc.  Where is such a database hosted?  Real time connectivity and updates?  Or like many things in Thailand, is it all for show, and just a skeleton framework

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, yellowboat said:

Always wondered if the security concern outweighed the benefits.  Were pay phones a security concern back in the day ? 

Yes and No.  Many countries security and police agencies always wanted to monitor conversations.  Nothing has changed about that.  Remote triggering of devices using cell phones placed just about anywhere there is reception and coverage is the newer concern.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, BuckBee said:

I would be interested how they had them and activated as need be registered via ID card or passport, some hooky links with the telecom businesses possibly !

Would cost quite a lot in time and cash to keep that many sims active ...

I would not be surprised if they made the Scammers/thieve pay up front with the promise of lots of money on the back end if they executed the plan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, webfact said:

America allows its citizens to buy guns easily and we all know what happens. It can be a lot worse with easily purchasable SIM cards.

How exactly can it be worse? I fail to see the connection between guns and SIM cards. The only way SIM cards can take a life, is if you are beaten to death with a big bag of them and I haven't seen too many reports in the news of that happening.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The most scary scenario is: a simple SMS can land you in jail for decades for LM. If it is so easy to get a sim card registered for Jim Beam, Johnny Walker, or Santa Claus- what if your neighbor gets his hands on a sim card in your name and use it in revenge for you loud music?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, darksidedog said:

How exactly can it be worse? I fail to see the connection between guns and SIM cards. The only way SIM cards can take a life, is if you are beaten to death with a big bag of them and I haven't seen too many reports in the news of that happening.

But guns also don't kill people people kill people.. I mean.. the simcards would not have killed anyone if they were not put in a bag and used by people to bash in someones head. So guns and sim cards are both not dangerous at all.. its the people who make them dangerous. 

 

:smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.






×
×
  • Create New...