East Africa: Safaricom Gets GSMA Support in Mobile Cash War With Equity

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Safaricom has received critical support in its bid to stop Equity Bank from using embedded SIM cards for the mobile banking and money transfer service the lender plans to introduce in the Kenyan market.

According to Business Daily, London-based GSMA, the global association of telecoms operators using the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) technology, has written a hard-hitting letter to the Kenyan authorities warning of the risks that use of the slim SIM cards pose to the integrity of the mobile telecommunications platforms.

The GSMA says in the letter dated August 7 that the overlay SIM (which is embedded between a normal SIM card and the device) has the potential of harvesting and revealing sensitive data passing the system.

“The overlay SIM has the potential to facilitate a man-in-the-middle attack by observing, collecting and revealing sensitive data such as PINs, ciphering and integrity keys,” the GSMA says in the advisory note to the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).

The GSMA says thin SIM is capable of bypassing any security technologies, such as cryptographic keys to record sensitive data and make it available to third parties.

Source: All Africa (link opens in a new window)