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Industry Working on Standard to Prevent Robocalls

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Industry Working on Standard to Prevent Robocalls

May 24, 2017
By Laura Stotler TMCnet Contributing Editor

Despite the creation of the federal “Do Not Call” list close to 14 years ago, the FCC (News - Alert) reports that U.S. residents endured more than 29 billion robocalls last year.  Many of them are from scammers, who exploit telcos and service providers to place thousands of illegal calls, which telecom companies end up paying for in the end. The problem is epidemic, according to Ajit Pai, the new chairman of the FCC, but circumventing those scams is a tricky and complicated business.

In one particular scam, fraudsters make it appear to recipients that the call is coming from the number of another unsuspecting phone subscriber. The FCC estimates 2.5 billion of those types of calls went through in the last month alone, up 9 percent from last year. The agency put together a “robocall strike force” comprised of 33 telecom and tech companies last year, and the group is working on a number of measures to circumvent fraud. These include development of a standard authentication technology that would verify exactly where the scam calls are coming from.

There are some that believe the telecom industry should be doing more to prevent the growing problem of robocalls, however. iconectiv (News - Alert), a company that specializes in fraud prevention and identity protection, has addressed the issue in its new white paper, “Caller ID: The Impact of Robocalling and Spoofing.” The paper outlines a variety of techniques being developed to combat the problems from a telecom perspective. These include the industry authentication standard being developed by the FCC group in collaboration with academic researchers and telecom associations. Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information using toKENs (SHAKEN) would provide end-to-end cryptographic authentication and verification of telephone identity and related information, essentially pinpointing where scam calls are coming from.

iconectiv has been instrumental in developing SHAKEN and has also announced a solution based on the developing standard that features all the components necessary for anti-spoofing mitigation. These include certificate management and repository, authentication service and verification service. The solution will also identify the point of origin of scam calls for rapid trace-back to prevent future calls and enable regulatory enforcement.

For additional information on iconectiv’s offering and the company’s work on SHAKEN, please download the free white paper.

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