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certified caller id

March 2, 2017

The impact of robocalling and spoofing

With the rise of telemarketing and other unwanted calls, Caller ID can serve a useful purpose in alerting consumers to the number that is calling on their phone’s display. If you recognize the number, you can answer. If you don’t recognize the number, you can decide whether to answer or not. However, that decision is taken out of your hands if someone has manipulated the Caller ID to look like a familiarnumber or one with a local area code.

Known as ‘spoofing,’ the technique can also mislead people by displaying a text string such as “Free Money,” or provide an 800 number that cannot be traced to the originating call center. The problem has been severely compounded in recent years by the use of computerized auto-dialers to deliver prerecorded messages, otherwise known as robocalls, which has become the No. 1 source of consumer complaints to the FCC.

However, spoofing can cause more harm than just mere annoyance. Criminals use spoofing to present themselves as something they are not, such as impersonating law enforcement, financial institutions, schools, creditors or other entities to obtain sensitive personal data or extract credit card “payments” and wire transfers, defrauding consumers for millions each year.

What is being done?

Spoofing is illegal in the U.S. but fines and prosecution have so far been unsuccessful in stemming the tide. Because of the growing consumer outcry, the FCC is now looking to take more decisive action to halt the practice and protect consumers.

Academic researchers and leading telecom associations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) have been working on solutions to help the industry mitigate spoofing.

Together with industry leaders such as iconectiv, an authoritative partner of the communications industry for more than 30 years, IETF and ATIS developed the SHAKEN (Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) standard that provides a framework for service providers to implement new certificate-based anti-spoofing measures.

multi-key verification breakthrough

Developed as an ATIS/SIP Forum standard, SHAKEN provides an industry framework for managing the deployment of Secure Telephone Identity (STI) technologies. The framework provides end-to-end cryptographic authentication and verification of the telephone identity and related information in a VoIPbased service provider network to avoid spoofing. Consumers retain the ability to decide whether to answer calls even if the call is not verified.

iconectiv recently announced the availability of a fully functional solution that consists of all the components required for anti-spoofing mitigation based on SHAKEN: Certificate Management, Certificate Repository, Authentication Service, and Verification Service. Each of these components is ready for industry testing.

The innovative solution will also identify the point of origin into the national network for the purposes of rapid trace-back to prevent further calls as well as enable regulatory enforcement. This is especially critical given the international origination of many of these calls.

Ready for testing

iconectiv is currently working with service providers and other partners to test the interoperability of its Certified Caller ID solution. The multi-key verification solution can serve as the foundation for a service provider coalition to ensure that when consumers receive a call, the caller on the line can be verified.

Uniquely positioned to lead in the mitigation of spoofing and robocalling, iconectiv’s core competencies including highly scalable industry database management, numbering services (the company will soon serve as the U.S. Local Number Portability Administrator), third-party authentication and network fraud prevention for the telecommunications industry.

iconectiv’s anti-spoofing solution is only one part of an aggressive company strategy designed to restore integrity to the personal telephone number and establish it as a trusted identity in the digital economy.

To find out more:

If you are a service provider or partner who wishes to help subscribers avoid the annoyance and fraud associated with spoofing, contact us to learn more about Certified Caller ID and other anti-spoofing solutions.

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