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Your Phone, Your Call - Part I - Eliminating Robocalls - Twilio
2019-03-18, by Jeff Lawson,

"When we started Twilio in 2008, I was a software developer who knew nothing about telephony. We realized that software developers like ourselves needed to build communications into apps -- so we started down the path of figuring out how to make a phone ring."

"(...) That original network, designed in the first half of the 20th century, was built and operated by one company. Any actor on the network was automatically and fundamentally trusted. That meant that little security was built into the network itself.

But with all the breakups and competitive tides the network became more open. However, the underlying protocols – and trust – were fundamentally based on a 100-year-old model. There was no way to anticipate the technological advances that would dramatically change everything about telecommunications in the coming decades.

Roll ahead to 2019: if you have the right access, hardware and/or software -- you can initiate a call on the network, from any phone number, to any phone number in a (pretty much) untraceable way.

Vrrrrrrp? Record screech. What?!? That's right… anybody can impersonate anybody else on the phone network to make a phone call. (Yeah, I was surprised to learn that too.) (...)


(...) We believe the next step is to put you back in control of your phone, where the communications industry provides the tools for you to receive only wanted communications from trusted parties. You’ll see a cryptographically signed caller-id asserting the company or person who's initiating a call to you is who they claim to be. In addition, ideally, your phone will only ring if a caller's reputation is up to par. To achieve this vision, illegal spoofing needs to be eliminated and a strong notion of identity needs to be established. (...)

(...) Some very smart people have been working on new ways of cryptographically signing calls – a digital signature – proving ownership of a phone number before the call is initiated. One example of this is a new protocol called STIR/SHAKEN, which the communications ecosystem is working on now. Before any authentication method can be impactful at scale, it needs to be adopted by a broad swath of the ecosystem. Twilio is fully committed to efforts to authenticate calls so the identity of callers can be proven, and it looks like STIR/SHAKEN is a good candidate to do just that. (...)"
usa  phone  history  robot  spam  security 
yesterday by eric.brechemier
More adventures in replying to spam | James Veitch - YouTube
James Veitch has spent years doing the tireless, thankless work of replying to spam emailers so you don’t have to. He returns to TED to tell the tale of yet another spam email adventure, this time with a vital lesson attached: How to annoy your way off any spammer’s mailing list. TEDArchive presents previously unpublished talks from TED conferences.
humor  video  youtube  spam  wildwest 
2 days ago by cyberchucktx
Understanding STIR/SHAKEN | TransNexus
Criminals and unscrupulous robocallers often alter the calling number of their outbound telephone calls in order to deceive the called party. This deception can be as simple as changing the calling number so it appears that a neighbor is calling.

This deception increases the chance that the called party will answer a robocall. In other cases, the deception may be more malicious such as a fraudster impersonating an IRS agent in order to steal a tax refund. This practice of altering the calling number of a telephone call is known as spoofing.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been encouraging the telecommunications industry to develop a solution to stop robocalls and spoofed calling numbers since 2014. The industry’s response has been to develop a new technology standard called STIR [1] (Secure Telephony Identity Revisited) and SHAKEN [2] (Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) which defines how telephone service providers should implement the STIR technology to ensure calling numbers are not spoofed.
telephony  mobile  security  spam  marketing 
2 days ago by Chirael
John Oliver Hatches A Genius Plot To Ban Robocalls By Robocalling The FCC | HuffPost
“Unleash Hell!”: The “Last Week Tonight” team created a program to keep dialing all five commissioners with a special message from Oliver.
It’s easier than ever to create programs to make robocalls ― so easy, that John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” team created one in just 15 minutes.
“Everybody is annoyed by robocalls,” the HBO host said. “Hatred of them might be the only thing that everyone in America agrees on now.”
Americans receive nearly 50 billion robocalls a year, and the calls are responsible for 60 percent of all complaints to the Federal Communications Commission. While some of these calls might be useful, such as those that announce school closings, “the vast majority of them vary from the irritating to the outright illegal,” Oliver said.
There’s one agency with the power to curtail the calls and make it easier for Americans to opt out. Yet it hasn’t done it and that’s why Oliver’s special robocall program contains just five phone numbers.
The program will dial the office numbers of all five FCC commissioners and deliver an automated message from Oliver. Best of all, the robocalls will continue, every 90 minutes, until the FCC commissioners are ready to take action.
See Oliver’s explanation of robocalls and why they’re so hard to block, as well as his FCC-dialing program in the clip above.
fcc  gov2.0  politics  troll  robocalls  spam  tv  talk_show 
10 days ago by rgl7194

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