Watch Out for the Spoof Festive Holiday Call Season!
According to a recent report it has been estimated that one in every four calls are spoofed or spam calls - where a fraudster impersonates another person or organization’s phone number to trick consumers to answer the call. For fraudsters, it’s a lucrative business, with it being estimated (2017 US Federal Trade Commission estimation) that scammers managed to net on average $430 USD per each successful phone. What’s even more frightening is that during the holiday season, spoof callers ramp up their efforts to scam innocent consumers, with the recent estimates saying that holiday spam calls were up 129% in 2018 compared to last year.
So, how did we get here?
Caller ID spoofing can be traced back to a security flaw in Signalling System 7 (SS7) that allows an intruder with just a Linux-based computer and a publicly-available software developers’ kit for generating SS7 packets, used to determine a subscriber’s location, tap into calls and gain personal data. This gives the fraudster the ability to steal money and other valuable data and disrupt communication services. Unfortunately, it’s not just voice calls either. Text messages (SMS) are not immune to spoofing either. Loopholes in the SS7 protocol allow an attacker to intercept incoming SMS messages, create a second ‘shadow’ user account and begin to impersonate the account holder - all without their knowledge. The risks sky rocket when we put IoT devices into the mix.
The best way communications service providers can protect their customers and their networks against these threats and stop SS7 attacks is to deploy integrated risk management systems that have advanced AI capabilities to detect and stop fraud scenarios in real-time. In today’s complex networks, fraudsters are only too willing to exploit existing and new vulnerabilities and security flaws as they arise. Only with an integrated risk management system can CSPs ensure that they have their protections in place when fraudsters strike next.
Make sure you protect your users, so that you can enjoy a fraud-free Holiday Season.
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