Name: Lawful Interception Management System, LIMS

Text: Utimaco LIMS™
Lawful Interception of Telecommunication Services

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utimaco®
a member of the Sophos Group

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LIMS - worldwide

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Lawful Interception
Lawful Interception (LI) is the legally approved surveillance

The main functions of any LI solution are to access Inter-

of telecommunication services , and has become an im-

ception-Related Information (I RI ) and Content of Commu-

portant tool for law enforcement agencies (LEAs ) around

nication (CC) from the telecommunications network and

the world for investigating and prosecuting criminal activi-

to deliver the information in a standardized format via the

ties and terrorism. Most countries have passed laws that

handover interface to one or more monitoring centers of

require telecommunication service providers to support
LEAs with duly authorized requests to identify, monitor, and

law enforcement agencies. Of course , before surveillance

deliver all of the electronic communications of specified

and appropriately provisioned to the Interception Access
Points within the service provider's network, and they must

individuals and groups . While regulations and requirements

can take place interception requests must be approved

vary from country to country, international and US-American

be carefully and accurately terminated after the intercep-

standardization bodies like ETSI or ANSI have developed

tion authorization expires. In addition , high security requi-

technical standards for LI that will facilitate the work of LEAs

rements for LI systems are essential to prevent possible

and help operators and service providers to minimize their

manipulation and misuse.

costs. Although various standards for LI use different terminology, the basic functiona l model shown in figure 1 applies
to all LI standards and to all network and service types .

General LI Architecture (Functional Model)
Law Enforcement
Agency
Telecommunication
Network Function

Internal
Network
Interface

Lawful Interception
Function

Administration
Function

Internal Interception
Function

Monitoring
Function
Law Enforcement
Administration

Access, Mediation ,
Delivery Function
for IRI
Access , Mediation ,
Delivery Function
for CC

IRI: Interception Related Information

LI
Handover
Interface

Collection Function
for IRI and CC

CC : Content of Communication

Figure 1: Functional model for lawful interception

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Utimaco LIMS ™ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Utimaco LIMS™
A Carrier-Grade LI Solution for Telecommunication
Service Providers
Utimaco has been in the business of lawful interception

The core competency of the Utimaco LI solution is its

since 1994 and has installed LI Management Systems in
more than seventy countries around the world. As an active

ability to interface with hundreds of different elements in a
provider's heterogeneous network and to filter and deliver

member of the ETSI LI group, Utimaco has participated in

target-specific data to the LEA in a standardized format.

developing standards and in ETSI Plugtests 1 . The Utimaco
Lawful Interception Management System (LIMS) is a

The LIMS modular architecture provides a future-proof

comprehensive solution that provides state-of-the-art

path for operators to expand their LI capabilities through-

surveillance capabilities for fixed and mobile communi-

out current and any future networks. The system can be

cation networks and for various communication services ,

configured as an entry-level single-server solution for

including traditional circuit-switched voice , next-generation

thousands of subscribers and is scalable up to a multi-

packet-switched networks, 2G/3G mobile networks, and

server cluster that enables monitoring in networks with millions of subscribers.

Internet-based services like e-mail and VoIP.
The LIMS solution usually acts as a bridge or mediator
between the service provider's network and the LEA's

The Utimaco LIMS solution , as illustrated in figure 2, consists of the following components:

monitoring centers.

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Law Enforcement
Agency

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Fixed Network

LI Handover
Interface

+----+!-- -

Hl1

- - -lit - - - HI.:
- - -- -- - H1 3

Management Server

+-- x1

Mediation Device 1

Database

Mediation Device 2

Decoder SSL

Mediation Device 3

Gateway

1 ··-~ ·
Monitoring Center

Mobile Network

+ - - - X1

ISP (e-mail, VoIP,. .. )

High-Availability Module

Mediation Device n

Internal Network Interface
Interception Related Information
CC : Content of Communication
INI :
IRI:

Remote Provisioning Unit

x1 , x2 , x3:

Internal Network Interfaces for LI Provisioning, /RI
and CC exchange
H 1, H2, H3: Standard handover interface to the Law Enforcement
Agency for LI Provisioning, /RI and CC exchange

Figure 2: Architecture of the Utimaco LIMS

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Plugtests are interoperability tests organized by the European Telecommunications

Standards Institute (ETSI ). Plugtest' " is a trademark of ETSI.

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Utimaco LIMS ™

LIMS Management Server
The Management Server, the core component of the LIMS
system, incorporates the administration system for all system
modules, the user interface, as well as security management
for the whole system . The server maintains a central database of all intercept targets and authorized LEAs. Once an
intercept target is entered into the Management Server, it
is automatically provisioned to the appropriate interception
access point in the network.

LIMS Mediation Devices
The LIMS Mediation Devices perform all tasks related to
the delivery of intercepted communications to the authorized law enforcement agency. Mediation encompasses
the conversion and mapping of interception data received
from the internal network to the appropriate formats , protocols and interfaces as required by the LEAs . Also , Inter-

LIMS Decoder

cept Related Information sometimes needs to be stored

The LIMS Decoder module can be used to enable LI in

intermediately in the Mediation Device before it can be
forwarded to its final recipient.

networks where the communication session is SSL/TLS
encrypted between the user and the provider's servers.

Utimaco offers the industry's broadest list of mediation

is able to decrypt POP3S, SMTPS or !MAPS sessions

devices supporting a wide range of network technologies ,

before the e-mails can be monitored and filtered by the

services , protocols and standards. There are LIMS Media-

Interception Access Point.

In e-mail environments , for instance, the LIMS Decoder

tion Devices for more than 200 different network elements
of all major vendors. Delivery of intercepted data is compliant with various national regulations and national and

LIMS Gateway

international standards including CALEA, ATIS , ETSI and

This modular media gateway handles the real-time con-

3GPP standards.

version between packet-switched networks and circuit-

LIMS Access Points

VoIP networks where the handover interface to the LEAs
requires conversion of RTP media streams into TOM

switched networks. The LIMS Gateway is often needed in

Depending on the network topology and capabilities ,
Utimaco recommends either active or passive approaches to
intercepting communication data. In passive mode, network
probes are integrated into the operator's network to filter, decode and forward intercept data to the LIMS , respectively to
the appropriate Mediation Device. Utimaco has developed
specialized network probes for deep-packet inspection of various communication services and application protocols such
as e-mail , webmail , Internet access , instant messaging, Voiceover-IP and other IP-based services. Active interception , on
the other hand , refers to the method of managing integrated
interception capabilities of the available network elements ,

(Time Division Multiplexing) signals . In addition to the

like switches or routers . In many real-world deployments a

media conversion , the LIMS Gateway can also act as a sig-

mixture of active and passive interception techniques pro-

naling gateway between SS? , ISDN and SIP. The product's

vides the best results or is the only available option.

modular hardware concept enables customized solutions
for small networks, as well as for large networks supporting
from 60 to 3,360 simultaneous calls .

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LIMS Hardware

LIMS Remote Provisioning Unit

Utimaco LIMS runs on industry-standard servers by
Oracle®with Oracle Solaris®operating system. Customers

All administrative and operational functions of the LIMS

can choose from single-server configurations for small

the same graphical user interface as on the local manage-

networks up to multi-server clusters for large networks with
millions of subscribers and thousands of intercept targets.

ment console . The LIMS Remote Provisioning Unit (RPU)
ensures that the same security policies apply to both

The LIMS Gateway is a highly modular blade system with

remote sessions and to local operation .

Management System can be accessed remotely using

eight slots for different CPU , DSP and line card modules.

LIMS Loadbalancing Option
LIMS High-Availability Option

Utimaco LIMS is well prepared to scale with the ever in-

The high-availability option for LIMS enables operators to

creasing bandwidth requirements in modern telecom net-

build robust LI systems with 99 ,999% availability. The ad-

works. Dynamic loadbalancing algorithms distribute inter-

vanced Utimaco system monitoring software recognizes all
kind of potential fai lures and bottlenecks and automatically

cepted data evenly among a range of mediation devices.

switches system processes to hot-standby servers when
necessary.

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LIMS - worldwide

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Utimaco LIMS ™
Key Advantages
State-of-the-Art Interception System

Security and Reliability

After over 16 years of experience and continuous improve-

IT security has been Utimaco's core business since its foun-

ment, the Utimaco LIMS has matured from a surveillance

dation in 1983. As such , Utimaco thoroughly understands the

system for mobile networks to a complete interception
suite for various kinds of networks and services. Today

security and privacy aspects of lawful interception and has
implemented end-to-end security mech-anisms throughout

Utimaco offers the industry's most comprehensive list of

the entire LIMS system .

supported vendor network elements and enables lawful
interception in virtually any wireless and wireline network
supporting multiple services , including telephony, fax , SMS,
MMS, Push-to-Talk, Internet access , e-mail , VoIP and other

The data security features of LIMS™ include:

IP-based services. In its entire software and hardware
architecture the Utimaco solution has been designed as a

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Authentication and authorization by using a

carrier-grade system that meets highest security, reliability

granular rights management system that enables

and performance criteria. The Utimaco LIMS solution is

accurate definition of administrative and opera-

approved by national regulatory bodies and is used by more

tional tasks (role-based access control ).

than 150 operators worldwide .

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Full audit trail with detailed accounting of all user and
system events to avoid misuse and manipulation .

Standards Compliance
Utimaco LIMS is designed to comply with national and

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Integrated alarm system to alert for system failures .

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Regular consistency checks to guarantee the data

international lawful interception standards developed by
ETSI, 3GPP, ATIS and Cablelabs . Utimaco shares its
experience and expertise in standards with partners and

integrity in the target database and on the intercep-

customers to continuously optimize the solution and to

tion access points in the network.

meet specific requirements according to individual technical and legislative prerequisites.

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Encryption of internal and external data traffic.
Encrypted storage of all sensitive data records ,

Cost-Efficiency

and complete removal of user data after expiration

The Utimaco LIMS is a centralized system that serves all

of the LI request.

LI-related tasks of multiple LEAs on a heterogeneous service network. By using one single point of access , opera-

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tors can reduce their administration costs by simplifying

Transparent separation of different LEAs and LI
requests , and isolated delivery of interception data
to multiple LEAs.

the communication with LEAs and by reducing the effort
for the provisioning of surveillance operations in the network . Operators can initiate , modify or delete any LI request on the entire network in a matter of minutes with the

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No back doors: The Utimaco LIMS never permits
access to unauthorized users or by means other
than those described in the documentation .

easy-to-use Utimaco LIMS graphical user interface. Once
installed in the network, Utimaco LIMS is almost mainte-

The Utimaco LIMS security has been verified by

nance-free . Optional system upgrades , for example , for

official regulatory bodies , and interception results

new services or new network equipment, can be provi-

have been successfully approved by international

ded cost-efficiently by Utimaco as part of a maintenance

courts as admissible evidence.

agreement or on an as-needed basis .

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Utimaco LIMS ™ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Modular and Scalable Architecture

Managed LI Services

While the system is designed for large-scale networks with

The LIMS role-based user management, together with its

millions of subscribers , the LIMS suite can easily be ad-

capability to serve multiple different networks and LEAs

apted to provide an economically feasible solution for net-

concurrently, allows various deployment models of the

works with only a few thousand users . In fact, the modular

lawful interception system . Operators can either install and

software architecture enables operators to extend the sys-

operate the LIMS system as part of their own Operations

tem as the demand for lawful interception increases and/

Support System (OSS) , or they may decide to use the
service of an independent LI service provider. Utimaco

or their sub-scriber base grows. Performance-critical tasks
and processes can be migrated to dedicated servers to in-

has selected and qualified a number of LI service provi-

crease the overall system capacity and throughput. The

ders who can effectively take over all administrative tasks

underlying hardware platform , based on Oracle® servers,

related to LI and thus relieve the network operator of unpro-

provides the solid basis for a reliable , scalable system with

fitable duties and reduce the costs for maintaining and up-

sufficient performance reserves for all current and future

grading systems.

network sizes.
The modular concept of LIMS further facilitates the integration

Global Service and Support

of new network interfaces and protocols without requiring the
reengineering of the complete system. There is virtually no

Utimaco understands that LI management is not simply
about purchasing hardware and software - it's about im-

limit to the number of active and passive Interception Access

plementing capabilities according to national legal require-

Points that can be connected and operated in parallel.

ments and technical prerequisites. Utimaco provides the
services , support and resources that help you become
compliant with these requirements while minimizing the
costs and effort for installation and operation. With Utimaco's
help, your staff can accomplish lawful interception while
also keeping your service network tuned for maximum
performance and utilization . Utimaco provides worldwide expert consulting services , 24x7 technical assistance ,
online support , onsite training and installation services.

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Five Reasons to Select Utimaco LIMS TM
Experience

Cost-efficiency

Utimaco develops high security solutions for corporate and

The modular architecture of Utimaco LIMS enables cost-

public applications and was one of the first companies

effective and customized solutions for LI projects of all sizes.

worldwide to deploy lawful interception solutions for mobile

The central administration of intercepts and the high level

networks. In the past sixteen years Utimaco has gained

of automation speeds up the process of managing court

extensive experience in the LI market and has installed LI

orders , simplifies the cooperation with LEAs , thus leading to

systems in more than sixty countries around the world .

countable opex reduction .

Expertise

Reliability

Utimaco is an active member of several national and in-

Utimaco is a recognized playe r and financially stable

ternational standard ization groups and maintains contacts
with regulatory bodies and LI experts worldwide. In all

public company in the worldwide IT security industry.
In addition to our technical experience in lawful intercep-

matters relating to lawful interception , Utimaco is the pre-

tion , we pay very close attention to the legal aspects of

ferred partner of many of the leading telecom suppliers and

lawful interception and regard this as an important factor

monitoring center vendors . The LIMS solution continues

in our business . As a result, the Utimaco LIMS system

to be developed and maintained by a team of experienced

strictly conforms to the appropriate laws and regulations.

engineers who have worked in the LI field for many years.

Furthermore , the system includes numerous security
measures to prevent misuse by unauthorized persons .

Compliance
The LIMS solutions comply with a large number of international LI standards and requirements. Compatibility with network equipment vendors and monitoring center suppliers is
an important benefit of the solution , and Utimaco verifies this
compatibility on an ongoing basis.

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Utimaco LIMS ™ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Utimaco LIMS™
Feature Overview

LI Standards

Vendor Interfaces

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ETSI TS 101 671 (voice) , TS 101 331
(generic), ES 201 158 (generic) , TS 102 232-1
to 102 232-6 (IP, E-Mail, VoIP)

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Huawei , lptego , ltaltel , Juniper, Motorola, NokiaSiemens-Networks, Nortel , Oracle-Sun , Redback ,

ANSl /ATIS : J-STD-025-B
(Voice , CDMA) , T1 .678v2 (VoI P), T1 .IPNA (Inter-

Unisys, Sitronics , Sonus , Starent Networks,
Thomson-Cirpack , Vocaltec, ZTE and others

net, T1.IAS) , T1 .724 (UMTS) , TIA-1072 (PoC )

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3GPP: TS 33 .106, TS 33.107, TS 33 .108 (UMTS)

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PacketCable v1 .5 (Cable)

Acme Packet, Alcatel-Lucent, Arris , Bridgewater,
Broadsoft, Casa , Cisco , Comverse, Ericsson,

Network Interfaces

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1Gb - 10Gb Ethernet, X.25 , ISDN , E1 /T1 ,
SDH/Sonet, ATM , SS? interfaces

Supported Services

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VoIP (S IP, H.323 , SCCP, RTP)

Security

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GSM , GPRS, UMTS , LTE

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CDMA, CDMA2000

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SMS, MMS , Voicemail

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Push-to-Talk over Cellular (PoC)

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PSTN (Fixed Telephony)

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Broadband Access (DSL , Cable , WLAN , WiMAX)

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E-mail (POP3 , SMTP, IMAP, webmail)

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other IP-based services










Performance

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Max. number of subscribers:

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IPsec/SSL/TLS encryption
Encrypted storage , encrypted backup
System monitoring and alarms
System redundancy
Disaster recovery system
Secure remote access

Other features
Integrated accounting and billing functions

(virtually unlimited)

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Dynamic load-balancing

Max. number of targets : scalable up to thousands

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Easy-to-use graphical user interface

of concurrent LI requests

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Remote management of other LI systems

Probe Performance: up to 10 Gbps (2 ,000 ,000 pps)

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Multi-tenant support

and 25,000 targets per LIMS Access Point

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Detailed accounting (fu ll logging)

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scalable from 1,000 up to millions of subscribers

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Role-Based Access Control

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utimaco®
a member of the Sophos Group

www.utimaco.com/lims
Utimaco Safeware AG
Germanusstra~e

4

52080 Aachen
Germany
Phone +49 (0) 241-16 96-0
li-contact@utimaco.com

Utimaco Safeware Partner:

Copyright Information
Copyright © 1994-2011 - Utimaco Safeware AG - a member of the Sophos group , February 2011
Utimaco LIMS ™
Utimaco LIMS is a tradema rk of Utimaco Safeware AG. All other named trademarks are trademarks of the particular copyright holder.
Specifications are subject to change without notice.

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