Argentina’s telecoms regulator will roll out a new rule demanding operators register customer biometrics when switching to new SIM cards, a move to boost security for subscribers and curb SIM hijacking.
Ente Nacional De Comunicaciones (Enacom) vice president Gustavo Lopez confirmed the news after being prompted by a federal judge, who requested the regulator adopt more security measures to prevent phone hacking through a method called SIM swapping or SIM hijacking, reported local newspaper Clarin.
Enacom will publish its full resolution on the new rule and how biometrics would be implemented by the end of this month.
The procedure is done by a hacker contacting operators and convincing them that a targeted SIM was stolen or lost, requesting the number transferred to a new illegally acquired SIM, and giving nefarious figures access to the original SIM owner’s data.
SIM swapping was used to hack the phones of Buenos Aires Minister of Security and Justice, Marcelo D'Alessandro and politician Diego Santilli.
Clarin reported a key challenge would be biometrics not being available on all mobile phones in Argentina, as feature phones and older smartphones do not have fingerprint or face scanners.