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Afilias Launches DeviceAssure to Close Security Gaps from Counterfeit Mobile Devices

DeviceAssure Identifies Fakes Before They Can Inflict Damage

Launched today at Mobile World Congress, DeviceAssure is a new solution that uses patent pending technology to address the growing problems caused by counterfeit devices. For the first time, Financial Services providers, Enterprise Security organizations, Governments, App-enabled service providers and others doing business on the web can immediately determine whether a mobile device requesting access is authentic or counterfeit. This enables immediate action that protects them and their customers from criminal activity perpetrated via counterfeits.

While counterfeit phones cost the mobile ecosystem more than €45 Billion annually in lost sales, the bigger costs are hidden. Counterfeit mobile devices are often the platform for perpetrating cyber-crime such as:

  • MALWARE: Device automatically downloads malware that propagates throughout any network it connects to (and infects other devices connected to the network)
  • RANSOMWARE: Device injects ransomware, which can then contaminate other connected devices
  • KEYLOGGING: Device logs keystrokes to capture user names, passwords and other sensitive information that can be exploited to e.g. transfer assets like cash and securities without the owner’s permission
  • DATA THEFT: Device “phones home” to deliver stolen personal data, often to organized crime or even state actors in a manner hidden from the user.

Further, counterfeit devices today are so sophisticated it’s nearly impossible to tell just by looking at them, so many users don’t even realize they have a fake. Network operators and others that allow mobile access must act to protect themselves and their customers.

DeviceAssure is an embeddable library for native apps and SDKs and a JavaScript web library that examines unique device identifiers & characteristics (hardware profile, CPU, GPU, screen capabilities, UA string and TAC), and compares them against known good configurations stored in our device database.

DeviceAssure is expected to offer immediate benefits to:

  • Financial Services providers: Each day, millions of people access their most sensitive accounts from mobile devices. DeviceAssure can assess each connection request in real time and immediately ID counterfeits, enabling access to be blocked before damage can occur.
  • Enterprise Security Platforms: Today’s remote workforce uses a wide variety of devices, some of which are counterfeit. DeviceAssure can identify these when they attempt to connect, enabling enhanced protection for the network, company and customers.
  • Governments: There has been much anti-counterfeit legislation, but limited enforcement ability. Governments and regulators can now reduce lost tax and excise revenue, better safeguard public health and security, and protect IP by prohibiting service to counterfeit devices. DeviceAssure is an effective tool that can be deployed to deny access to counterfeit devices, thereby eliminating the value proposition for this vector of crime.
  • App-Delivered Services: Many on-line brands do business via app. By preventing apps from activating on a counterfeit device, or prohibiting installation on a fake, apps can become much safer and less likely to be vectors for crime.

DeviceAssure builds on the technology of Afilias’ industry leading DeviceAtlas™ solution, which features the largest and most current database of specifications for legitimate devices and is used by major brands, telcos, and technology companies to better engage with mobile audiences. DeviceAssure uses a native app or web application to capture the unique identifier of each device and then instantly spot “out of spec” devices, is easy to deploy and operate and is designed to be both robust and scalable. Afilias works closely with the GSMA on device intelligence solutions for the mobile operator ecosystem.

According to Afilias CTO Ram Mohan, “Our research shows that sophisticated fake devices act as attack vectors using back-doors built into the device. Counterfeit devices are frequently pre-provisioned to download ransomware and other malware to execute on the device and spread across the network. DeviceAssure was built to defeat this means of perpetrating cyber-crimes.”

Afilias showcases DeviceAssure and DeviceAtlas® during Mobile World Congress in Hall 7 stand K51 and will deliver a presentation on the issue in the Digital Trust stream of the event.

Afilias’ mobile and web services division has deep expertise in the mobile industry, focusing on providing real time intelligence on mobile devices, web and app and mobile operator traffic. In addition to DeviceAssure, the company provides a range of award-winning products to ensure content works in today’s dynamic web environment including DeviceAtlas the industry standard for device data and the only solution that is indexed for web, apps and mobile operator environments. For more information on Afilias services please visit www.afilias.info.

By Afilias, Global Provider of Internet Infrastructure Service

Afilias is the world’s second largest domain registry, with more than 20 million names under management. Afilias powers a greater variety of top-level domains than any other provider, and will soon support hundreds of new TLDs now preparing for launch. Afilias’ specialized technology makes Internet addresses more accessible and useful through a wide range of applications, including Internet domain registry services, Managed DNS and mobile Web services like goMobi® and DeviceAtlas®.

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