Caller ID Spoofing On The Rise?

from the that's-hot dept

Caller ID spoofing certainly isn’t new, but it seems to be getting more and more attention these days, with stories such as this one, from Memphis, where an older guy says he received spoofed messages complaining about him cutting his grass (via EuroTelcoBlog) early in the morning. The messages looked like they came from a neighbor across the street, but she was away at work at the time. When the neighbor called BellSouth to complain, the company told her about a particular caller-ID spoofing service. Who’s to blame for the apparent growth? Perhaps Paris Hilton. She’s no stranger to spoofing, as it was used to hack her voicemail last year, but apparently lately she’s been using a spoofing service herself, as one recently terminated her account after she used it to enter other people’s voicemail — reportedly as part of her ongoing feud with fellow overexposed celebrity Lindsay Lohan, though Hilton’s people have denied the whole thing. All the interest seems to make just one thing inevitable: that caller ID spoofing will eventually be banned.

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Comments on “Caller ID Spoofing On The Rise?”

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Comboman says:

Re: 911 doesn't use caller ID

911 doesn’t use caller ID to identify callers, they use ANI (automatic number identification) which cannot be spoofed (at least not without the phone company’s cooperation). Otherwise they would have no info for unlisted numbers, etc. The same goes for 1-900 numbers that are billed to the caller’s phone, they use ANI since caller ID cannot be trusted for billing purposes.

whargoul says:

Caller ID is crap

I had caller id removed from my landline years ago. The majority of the time I would either get “Private”, “Out of area” or just no data. Only on very rare occaisions would I get any useful information from it.

Granted, this service was coming from Southwestern Bell/SBC so it seems to be on par with the rest of their services.

Anonymous Coward says:

i can see many telemarketers using this. if you see a number, either unlisted or known telemarketer….bamn no talk.

if they see “jonh q. public” on the cid, they’d be a bit more likely to pick up. i know i’ve picked up the phone even when i didnt know who was calling.

other tahn that, i can see kids playing pranks on someone, or ex’s wainting to “talk”

but i really don’t see a beinficial use.

Araemo says:

Caller ID spoofing isn't hard....

But don’t think that 911 doesn’t know who you are, they don’t use Caller ID, they use the same system 1-900 numbers use, which is less exploitable.

Essentially, when you have a PBX plugged into a trunk line somewhere(which is the way most businesses, even some small businesses have their phones set up), your PBX supplies the caller-ID info. It can supply one generic number for all outgoing calls, that goes back to the receptionist. Or it can be programmed to send the individual extension… or you can program it to send whatever you want. Doing that might be against your service agreement with your phone company, but it isn’t hard to do.

911 and 1-800 and 1-900 numbers use a seperate system administered from the phone company CO, which cannot be spoofed from your end(Unless someone figures out how to break into the CO switches. I’m sure it CAN be done, but it requires actual computer tresspass and ingenuity, so it is definately less common, if it happens at all.

chris (profile) says:

trusting caller ID is poor security

read “the art of deception” by kevin mitnick, there are all sorts of nasty things you can do to people who rely on caller ID as a form of authentication.

you can configure a PBX to display any number you want in caller ID and some VOIP services let you choose and change your caller ID anytime (voxee in particular).

there are legitimate reasons to “spoof” caller id, like if i make outgoing calls on one number, and want a callback on a different number.

i would imagine that skype’s “skype out’ feature will not be useful for many people becuase the caller ID info doesn’t identify you (at least not when you are making those free calls to the US).

i would imagine that something needs to be done about using spoofed caller ID info to commit fraud, rather than eliminate “adjustable” caller ID info, since it has all sorts of legitimate uses.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Caller ID Headers

Paul, there is no reason to extend or alter caller Id as it is now, it is simply a flawed system(They trust the caller to be honest… If you’re worried about the caller lying, this isn’t a workable system).

Those who require accurate info already get it through ANI. Sure, home users get screwed, but we’ll get screwed no matter how Caller ID is changed or replaced, there will be ways for telemarketers and people with the right money/connections to fake their phone # on our displays.

Anonymous Coward says:

If 911 calls can’t be spoofed, why did NJ Police surround a house after receiving a spoofed emergency call?

But this can lead to more serious cases like the one in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where police resources are out of commission for almost six hours. It’s also going be used not just as a joke, but to play revenge on neighbors or friends or settling old agendas. There are a whole variety of problems that this could create for police departments in the future and in the near future.

O’BRIEN: Do police departments like yours or any across the nation have the technology available to be able to block the spoofing technology? TIMONEY: Unfortunately, no. And the problem is we use the caller I.D., actually, if we need further information on a call to call that person back. Now, obviously, this will be a phony number, a third number that’s used. And so there will be no way of verifying one way or the other for additional information or to find out if it’s a spoof phone call

brandon says:

have fun

i got acounts with, and

spoofing is pretty fun i can prtend to be police or whoever and a couple of my prank calls made it in our towns bulletin(free newspaper).if you want to hack into voicemail boxes get on you phone and spoof you number to match the cellular number your calling(might have password).Dont trust spoofcard their the ones that will turn you in (paris hilton).some people also use spoofing for extreme social networking like stealing credit card info and such,but that can get you in big trouble.But so far my local police department havent figured it out and i doubt they will.get either a zero group or phone gangster account and congress just signed a bill were id spoofing is oh(signed by bush) so i doubt itll be banned

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