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ITU-T Q.5051 (03/2020)

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Framework for combating the use of stolen mobile devices
Recommendation ITU-T Q.5051 proposes a framework composed of requirements and a broad range of comprehensive and recommended measures that can be taken and applied to combat the theft and reuse of stolen mobile devices.

With the increased functions and capabilities available on mobile devices, the importance and usage of these devices in people's daily lives have been growing in recent years. As a side effect, there also has been observed a rise, in some countries, of actions aimed to steal these devices and generate profit, not only by selling the equipment itself but also by illegally using the information it contains.

As a response, initiatives are needed to deter the theft and reuse of stolen mobile devices and to protect the consumer data stored on these devices against illegal use. It is common for devices stolen in one country that may have deployed solutions to mitigate the use of stolen devices to then be sold into other countries or regions where similar mitigation measures have not been taken. Thus, it is critical to the success of such initiatives to have coordination and information sharing among governments and operators that aims to combat the theft and reuse of stolen mobile devices in a global environment. Otherwise, there is a risk of the illegal trade of stolen devices occurring across international borders.

Note that most solutions deployed today to deter the device theft and reuse problem rely on unique identifier lists. A common action taken by the traffickers then to bypass these actions is to tamper with the device to alter its unique identifier, sometimes choosing an identifier already in use by a legitimate device. This allows the equipment to return to the market and connect to mobile networks.

In response to this scenario, many countries are engaged not only in combating the use of stolen mobile devices, but also in preventing devices with unauthorized reprogrammed unique identifiers, commonly described as tampered identifiers, from returning to the network. Meanwhile, governments in other countries are challenged and unclear on the best strategies to adopt, mainly due to a lack of knowledge or expertise to understand the issue and the possible solutions, and to make informed choices to deploy solutions, tailored for their individual countries, that could be effective. In this sense, guidelines are necessary to address this challenge, as indicated on the WTSA Resolution 97 (Hammamet, 2016).
Approval date: 2020-03-13
Provisional name:Q.FW_CSM
Approval process:TAP
Status: In force
Maintenance responsibility: ITU-T Study Group 11
Further details: Patent statement(s)
Development history
Ed. ITU-T Recommendation Status Summary Table of Contents Download
1 Q.5051 (03/2020) In force