Sri Lanka Cuts Off Calls To 13 Countries To Avoid Modem Dialer Scams

from the baby,-bathwater? dept

Now that broadband is becoming pretty common in many areas, the threat of the “dialer trojan” scam has become less of an issue. The scam would work by sneaking a trojan onto someone’s computer that would take over the modem and dial some expensive toll-number as the ISP. The user wouldn’t recognize what was happening until they got a huge phone bill a month or so later. This doesn’t impact people who don’t use a regular dialup modem, but there are still places where dialup is quite popular — and as the methods for getting trojans installed have become more effective recently, it’s no surprise that this is becoming a bigger problem in some places. Apparently Sri Lanka is one of those places, and the powers that be in that country have decided the best way to protect against the scam is to completely cut off direct-dial calls to 13 countries where most of those calls go. Callers will still be able to make operator assisted calls to those countries, but not directly dialed ones. Still, this seems like a pretty extreme response — and it’s likely that the scammers will quickly find other places to set up their scam phone numbers that aren’t blocked.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Sri Lanka Cuts Off Calls To 13 Countries To Avoid Modem Dialer Scams”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
1 Comment
zcat (user link) says:

"CAPTCHA" for dialling?

New Zealand Telecom has a partial solution; if you dial any of the more problematic countries you are asked to press ‘1’ before the call is allowed to go through. All automated, no operator required. But it probably won’t take long for the scammers to figure this out.

If telecom were to ask for a random four-digit number each time and temporarily block all international calls after repeated failed attempts, I think it would be just about impossible to write a dialler that could get past it.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...