I recently had a conversation with a fellow who is in the business of pumping traffic to rural destinations in the US with high terminating access fees. He claimed that his business generates 100 million minutes of traffic each month and that his terminating CLEC partners share an average of $0.002 for each minute of traffic he sends to them. That is $200,000 of gross revenue per month.
VoIP Security Best Practices
As VoIP has become more accessible and popular, security threats have become a serious problem for service providers. A single fraud event can easily cost a company between three and fifty thousand dollars. In many cases, this number can be even larger. Most experts agree that total loss from VoIP fraud is somewhere between 3 [...]
We’re on Going Social
You may have noticed that TransNexus has been Tweeting for a few months now (@Trans_Nexus), and we’re having so much fun we’ve decided to expand our social presence onto Facebook as well. We’ve started our Facebook page to share company news, industry updates, and other helpful information. “Like” us on Facebook to keep up with [...]
Twitter: The Next Tool for VoIP Fraud?
At TransNexus, we talk a lot about VoIP fraud, especially traffic pumping. (Read this recent article from Jim that explains traffic pumping in detail.) The key with traffic pumping is to find some way to artificially inflate traffic to your own extra profitable destination. Blogger, Mark Collier, has recently suggested that Twitter could be the [...]
VoIP Fraud: The Cleanest Form of Money Laundering?
You’ve heard us writing about revenue sharing VoIP fraud on this blog before. But here’s a new application we’ve been hearing about: Money Laundering. Money laundering is, of course, the process of concealing the source of money obtained by illicit means, often by moving the money across international borders. Reports are now surfacing that money [...]
SDReporter 5 Takes Fraud Protection Seriously
Fraud is not something to be taken lightly, which is why the latest version of call reporting software, SDReporter, has included extra anti-fraud features. SDReporter 5.0 from TransNexus is a call detail record (CDR) reporting and analysis solution for Acme Packet Session Border Controllers, BroadWorks and Cisco Call Manager. It is designed to be simple [...]
It wasn’t so long ago that many companies were still grappling with the idea of even allowing employees to bring their own devices to work and use them instead of those issued by company stores. But a new study from Gartner suggests that companies may well have already gotten past the “should we or shouldn’t we” stage and gone clear to the next extreme: making BYOD mandatory.
The Gartner study also revealed several other interesting tidbits about the BYOD philosophy that’s gaining ground with almost disturbing rapidity in the corporate world. For instance, according to the Gartner study, 38 percent of workplaces expect to completely stop providing employees with devices by 2016. That’s everything from desktop PCs to smartphones and beyond. Oddly, the BYOD phenomenon is catching on most clearly with medium-sized to big enterprises. If the business generates $500 million to $5 billion in annual revenue, or has an employee roster of between 2,500 and 5,000 employees, it likely has a BYOD plan in place.
With many companies looking to adopt a BYOD philosophy to the point that it’s a requirement, it’s worth noting that the idea itself still has some issues requiring some work. Ideas that many IT departments like to point out whenever BYOD emerges as a topic of discussion, specifically, security and interoperability. With more companies allowing BYOD–even requiring it–the issue of protecting data becomes even more important than ever. Why? Because where formerly, the devices required to access a corporate network were contained in a corporate office connected by cables, the devices now leave the building, providing a way to access that data on a one-on-one basis. Meanwhile, there’s the issue of interoperability to consider. Not every device plays well with other devices, and some devices work better together than others. Accounting for these differences is going to be vital to make BYOD mandatory, and putting the burden of providing interoperability on employees may not pan out well.
Essentially, BYOD is a good idea, but it’s often better as an option, a perk, rather than a requirement. BYOD can be a requirement, yes, but it requires the alteration of a lot of infrastructure to make it truly effective. It can even require so much alteration that the savings potential of BYOD is lost to the costs of adapting the environment to accommodate the change. BYOD is certainly a development worth considering, but it may not be a good idea to make it a mandatory change without considering the kind of impact such a move may ultimately have.
When Congress last overhauled U.S. telecom rules — the 1996 Telecommunications Act — many of today’s technologies were closer to science fiction than fact. Speaking at the Media Institute, Craig Silliman, Verizon’s senior vice president of public policy and government relations, called for a proactive, flexible policy approach to replace outdated regulations.
“The act could not have anticipated the policy challenges that we would face 20 years later, particularly given the extraordinary rate of innovation,” Silliman said. “It has been only six years since the first smartphone was released, so 20 years is an eternity. What guidance does the 1996 act provide in a world where everyone is carrying a broadband cloud-access device with them? Where video content can be accessed anytime, from anywhere? Where these technologies are beginning to be applied to broader societal challenges like healthcare, energy management, education and more? Not much. Nor should we expect it to.”
“By eliminating antiquated rules, focusing on meeting consumer needs, and encouraging investment and innovation, we will create the right environment for delivering the amazing promise of broadband and wireless technologies,” he said. “And in place of optimistic uncertainty, such policies will create a spirit of innovation and a sense of limitless opportunities.”
Chinese mainland and Taiwan police have jointly busted 73 gangs who were duping Taiwanese citizens out of money over the phone, the mainland’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said on Friday.
A total of 90 criminal dens were destroyed, with 301 suspects arrested, including 290 from the mainland and 11 from Taiwan.
The fraud involved 200 million New Taiwan dollars (6.65 million U.S. dollars), the MPS said.
The police confiscated illicit money and goods worth 3 million yuan (488,400 U.S. dollars), and seized a large number of tools used for criminal activities.
Police in southeast China’s Fujian Province tracked down a gang, whose leader was Yao Yue, a native of the province. The gang was targeting mainly Taiwanese citizens.
It is the latest in a series of telecom fraud cases that the mainland and Taiwan have jointly uncovered in recent years, the MPS said, adding that the efforts have successfully safeguarded the people’s interests and social stability across the Taiwan Strait.
The MPS urged people to be aware of suspicious calls asking for remittance or fund transfers, and not to tell people their bank details or passwords.
On the last day of Chairman Julius Genachowski’s tenure, the Federal Communications Commission voted to lift 126 outdated telecom rules. Among the requirements being lifted: The FCC will no long require telecom service providers to keep paper records in addition to digital copies, detailed filing of property records no longer used by the agency and calling card records. In a petition to the FCC, the U.S. Telecom Association had asked the agency to lift the outdated rules. “With 126 regulations removed, we’re talking about millions of dollars in savings, which will ultimately result in a more dynamic, competitive market and lower prices for consumers,” Genachowski said in a statement.
A recent article in Infosecurity explains a new Chinese variation on the police trojan fraud. According to the article, fraud is big business in China. Last year there were more than 170,000 cases causing losses of more than $12.5 billion. New evidence suggests this might be getting worse with increasingly sophisticated cyber fraud.
The Dongcheng sub-branch of Beijing’s Public Security Bureau called in Kaspersky Lab to investigate a telecom fraud case. What Kaspersky found was the evolution of China’s traditional fraud into something altogether more sophisticated. Traditionally, fraud in China has involved a phone call that tricks the victim into transferring cash to criminals via an ATM. Now, however, a combination of social engineering, phishing, a data stealing trojan, and the fear factor of a police investigation have taken telecom fraud in China to a new level.
It still starts with a phone call. The targets are informed that they have been implicated in a financial crime and must co-operate with the investigation. They are told to check the website of the ‘Supreme Procuratorate of the People’s Republic of China’ to see if they are official suspects. Once there, they are asked to check the ‘online finance crime database’ – but to do this, the victims must download a plug-in.
“That alleged plugin,” Kaspersky found, “is, in fact, a customized teamviewer application. Once launched, it puts your computer under their complete control. They can use your machine for any operation, just like it was their own.”
But that’s not yet enough – the fraudsters still need the victims’ bank account details. This is done under the continued guise of getting the victims to check the database to find out if they are official suspects – but to get into the database they need to enter their bank account details. The hope, clearly, is that the victims will consider it not unreasonable that their financial details are required for a financial investigation.
This is where the fear factor comes in. It is unlikely that Chinese citizens are less concerned about their own financial investigators than Americans are about IRS investigations – so it is not surprising that the demand for bank details under these circumstances is compelling. “But all of that sensitive data is immediately harvested by the fraudsters. With account numbers, passwords, USB keys and that teamviewer ‘plugin’ tool, the gang now has everything it needs to steal your money.”
And stealing your money just takes a few seconds. “By the time you realize you’ve been tricked, the criminals have already said their farewells and jumped into their virtual getaway car.”
Mark your calendar to join TransNexus at the 2013 Fall COMPTEL PLUS Convention & EXPO.
The COMPTEL PLUS Convention & EXPO is the preeminent networking event for innovative communications companies and their supplier partners. Held twice a year, COMPTEL PLUS attracted almost 202 exhibitors and more than 4,137 attendees to our 2012 events.
COMPTEL PLUS provides you with the opportunity to learn about new products, services and industry trends; meet potential customers and do business. During the Spring and Fall 2012 conventions, they welcomed 42 new companies to the EXPO hall, giving you great opportunities to meet with a growing universe of vendors and suppliers.
In addition to our EXPO, COMPTEL PLUS offers comprehensive educational programming led by experienced industry speakers. Our educational sessions will provide you with what you need to know about current business, technology and regulatory trends that could impact your business.
COMPTEL PLUS is produced by COMPTEL, the leading industry association representing competitive communications service providers and their supplier partners. COMPTEL members are entrepreneurial companies driving technological innovation and creating economic growth through competitive voice, video, and data offerings, as well as the development and deployment of next-generation IP-based networks and advanced services utilizing fiber, copper and wireless facilities. COMPTEL advances its members’ interests through trade shows, networking, education, and policy advocacy before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the courts. COMPTEL works to ensure that competitive communications providers can continue to offer value pricing, better service, and greater innovation to consumers. COMPTEL’s members create economic growth and improve the quality of life of all Americans through technological innovation, new services and affordable prices so customers have a choice.
The FCC’s Technology Transitions Policy Task Force (Task Force) authorized a 6-month trial to examine providing interconnected VoIP providers direct access to telephone numbers. The goal is to speed the transition away from TDM to all-IP infrastructure while ensuring resiliency.
The FCC is seeking comment and data on several issues. First, the FCC is seeking comment on a VoIP interconnection trial that would gather data to determine whether there are technical issues that need to be addressed and gather information relevant to the appropriate policy framework. Second, regarding migration of the nation’s emergency calling (911) system to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911), the FCC is seeking comment on a trial that will assist the Commission, state, local and Tribal governments, and Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in a few geographic areas to answer important technical and policy questions to accelerate the transition. Beyond NG911, the FCC is also seeking comment on how a trial could elicit data on the impact of network resiliency and public safety more broadly as consumers migrate to wireless and IP-based services that are dependent on commercial power. Third, because at least one provider has proposed serving consumers with wireless service in place of wireline service in certain geographic areas, the FCC is seeking comment on a trial that would analyze the impact of doing so and, in particular, focus on the consumer experience and ensure that consumers have the ability to move back to a wireline product during the trial.
“Trials are a smart approach that we have deployed before. Transitions to modern fiber and IP-based broadband networks, and the increased deployment of wireless technology, have the potential to unleash substantial economic benefits for our country, and advance national priorities like education and health care. The ongoing transitions must be handled in a way that advances the Commission’s vital longstanding goals of competition, universal service, consumer protection and public safety,” stated outgoing FCC chairman Julius Genachowski.
Jerry James, CEO of COMPTEL, stated: “The most critical aspect of the transition of the PSTN to IP technology that needs to be addressed is interconnection between competitors and the ILEC on an IP basis for the purpose of exchanging managed voice traffic. COMPTEL believes Commission affirmation of competitors’ interconnection rights on an IP basis under the Act, which we initially asked to be addressed in 2008, would achieve the new, innovative services it wishes to unleash at a faster pace than a trial. Nonetheless, COMPTEL believes the outcome of any trial on the transition to IP should include an IP-to-IP interconnection arrangement that complies with the standards set forth in the Act and will be available for opt-in as part of interconnection agreements.”
Michael Barrett, chief information security officer (CISO) at PayPal predicted the end of the password during his Thursday keynote speech at the Interop conference.
“Passwords, when used everywhere with no Internet-scale management system on top of them, are starting to fail us… They are not working any longer for users, they are not working for organizations, and they are not working at the ecosystem level either,” Barrett observed.
Users tend to pick poor passwords and then reuse them on multiple sites, Barrett noted. But users do not want to do anything that increases “friction”; they want their user experience to be “as simple as possible and safe,” he added.
PayPal, along with a group of other high-tech companies, has formed the FIDO Alliance to develop an authentication approach to replace passwords, Barrett explained.
“If we are going to tackle information security, we are going to have to build an open standard that allows us to get to better authentication. That is what the FIDO Alliance is about,” Barrett said. “Our intention is to obliterate user IDs, passwords and PINs from the face of the planet,” Barrett concluded.
TransNexus, the leading provider of VoIP telecom routing and reporting solutions will be exhibiting at the International Telecoms Week (ITW) 2013 held on 13th – 15th May in Chicago, IL. Look for us in booth 1032.
ITW is the key annual event for the wholesale community including carriers, mobile/wireless operators, ISPs and VoIP providers. It comprehensively examines industry challenges and the latest technologies that are presented through information sessions and panels. The event attracts over 5,000 delegates from over 1,700 companies and more than 140 countries.
Delegates can speak to the TransNexus team on any of the three days, or set up meetings to discuss any queries or requirements here.