Why end-to-end LI-verification is so important


Author: Sander de Jong, Global Account Director at Group 2000


Many investigations rely on that “single” (smart)phone interaction that turns out to be the lead to prevent or resolve an illicit activity or find the person that needs aid. Many organizations know the situation in which the Lawful Interception operator questions the reliability of the interception chain. This might not always be legitimate, but the stress of the operation by nature gets them questioning any electronic or automated process in the chain. And to be frank, they have a legitimate reason for questioning, despite the fact that for many of the operators intercepting a target is like Blackbox magic.
Opening the Blackbox will reveal an information flow originating from the intercepted device to the screen and headphones of the operator. Zooming in further, we will find a chain of computers interconnected by many networks. This chain of electronic components will ensure that:
1) The device of interest will be classified to be intercepted within the network;
2) The content to be intercepted will be captured and duplicated;
3) The duplicated content is translated into the correct delivery standard;
4) The translated content is transported to the Law Enforcement Monitoring Facility (LEMF);
5) In case the LEMF can’t be reached, the content could possibly be stored on the provider’s side;
6) The LEMF receives the intercepted content;
7) The LEMF marks a new product for the correct target in its database;
8) The content will be demodulated and stored for playback and further analyses (speaker id, gender, languages, speech to text, etc.);
9) Provide real-time or on demand playback or exporting it out of the system.

Having a flaw in one of the components within the chain, can result in missing crucial information. Due to the complexity and the extensive chain sizing, flaws happen from time to time. They can be due to human errors, unintentionally introduced due to component software updates, network related interconnection errors or component software and hardware issues.

Preventing the aforementioned incidents is impossible. The key is to get alerted as quickly as possible, to ensure the incident resolution time is as short as possible. With its LIMA Élite product Group 2000 has the answer to this quest in its portfolio, enabling your organisation to run automated and continuous test to get alerted as quickly as possible.

To ensure Telecom providers are compliant in delivering the information requested by government agencies, the LIMA Élite product, installed on the operator side, facilitates an automated testing platform. This test the path from target interception in the network, throughout the current in place LI-mediation system and verifies the content as test LEMF.

To help Law Enforcement Agencies to ensure that the complete end-to-end chain for Lawful Interception is working as intended, Group 2000 developed the LIMA Élite solution. With the LIMA Élite product the complete path (from target interception in the network, via the LI-mediation systems at the operators, into the LEMF) is being tested for each operator, network and technology 2G, 3G and 4G. The LIMA Élite product consists of a LIMA Élite back-end and a LIMA Élite Target Simulator. A LIMA Élite Target Simulator can be fitted with up to 12 SIM cards and can connect to various networks from single or various operators at the same time. The LIMA Élite product works independently and can automatically generate calls, SMS and data sessions, simulating target activity. The MSISDN-numbers of the sim cards in the LIMA Élite Target Simulator are being intercepted in the various operator networks and the intercepted traffic is delivered to the LIMA Élite back-end (as test-LEMF on the side of the operator) or the LEMF on the Government side. By exporting the information from the LEMF to the LIMA Élite back-end the interception chain can be verified, including the interception system at the LEMF. By comparing the amount of test calls and data sessions, including their content, the LIMA Élite product is able to verify whether the whole interception chain works properly. In case deviations are detected between the data received and expected in accordance to what was scripted to be generated, the solution will immediately alert the organization so that corrective measures can be taken.

Independent to your current installed Lawful Interception solution, Group 2000 LIMA Élite will enable you 24/7 to verify your interception chain end-to-end.

If this blog raised your interest and you would like to understand exactly what we as Group 2000 can do for your organisation, do not hesitate to approach us. It will be our pleasure to serve you.