Insights from Vox Solutions

The Threat of Artificial Traffic Inflation (AIT)

AIT the threat of Artificial Traffic

Within recent years, businesses and operators have witnessed the rise of artificial traffic inflation – a threat that increasing the costs of enterprises for no benefit, all while decreasing MNO revenues from A2P SMS.

So what is AIT exactly?

Well, at the core, it is the generation of artificial (fake) traffic from genuine websites and apps. Through this mechanism, fraudsters are using legitimate online service to generate fake traffic using countless bots. This leads to the generation of traffic that is unsolicited by legitimate mobile users for authentication purposes, however increases the bill that enterprises must pay.

So what is the harm enterprises and operators alike?

Well, as said above, AIT is directed to increase the costs that OTTs pay to aggregators, by artificially increasing the volume of traffic generated by the given OTT for authentication purposes. Such fraudulent aggregators then receive both legitimate and artificial traffic and first stop and convert all artificial requests.

There is however a much more challenging catch at play – if included in routing, such fraudsters are capable of converting 100% of the artificial traffic generated by them. As such, with perfect conversion stats on a chunk of the traffic received, the fraudsters are able to then also trash (stop and delete) part of the legitimate traffic received from the OTT without making the overall conversion rate “look too bad”. Hence, AIT is a threat for the cost / conversion of OTTs for two reasons: paying for requests that will not lead to a real user and having a share of legitimate traffic stopped before it reaches the end user.

In turn, the impact for operators is also twofold. Firstly, as AIT enables fraudulent aggregators to trash the messages requested by mobile users “under the radar”, decreasing the volume of A2P SMS that reaches the network and is billed. Second, in case the artificial traffic is not stopped by the fraudsters, the unsolicited traffic can reach mobile users (both active and inactive ranges seem to be used by fraudsters), causing distress. To conclude, AIT increases the cost of OTTs while decreasing the revenues of operators – it is a means for fraudsters to capture a large share of the pie in the market.

How can AIT be eliminated?

Don’t worry, the fight against the bot army generating artificial traffic is underway, and there are ways to push back. Our proprietary, award-winning solution, VOX360, has been developed to eliminate such issues of our customers.
For example, Jawwal, a Palestine-based telecommunications company, suffered an AIT (Artificial Inflation of Traffic) attack in 2022. Nevertheless, the company detected the fraudulent traffic thanks to the VOX360 ATF (Artificial traffic firewall) feature and blocked it. As a rule of thumb, operators and enterprises must take proactive measures to identify and stop AIT traffic to prevent similar incidents. This entails implementing real-time traffic monitoring and collaborating with dependable service providers and mobile network operators with robust anti-fraud measures. At Vox Solutions, we believe that machine learning algorithms are an effective way to detect and prevent AIT attacks.
Watch the recorded webinar (hosted with MEF), where we explain what AIT is, the real-life consequences of this fraud for stakeholders across the A2P ecosystem, why it is a massive threat, and how to stop it in its tracks. On top, you will find a case study from our client, Jawwal Palestine, on how our partnership has addressed the issue of AIT within their network. Whether you are an enterprise interested to understand the cost you should incur for your legitimate traffic or an operator looking to eliminate AIT, please reach out below to our sales associates.

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