The fascinating story about the arrest of Noor Aziz Uddin, one of FBI’s most wanted cybercriminal for international phone fraud came to a quiet end on 14 February in the outskirts of Karachi. It is said that Uddin and his accomplice had amassed a wealth of over $50 million in a short span of 4 years by hacking phones all around the world.
The modus operandi, according to the FBI, is that the cybercriminals would hack into the phone system – PBX – or use stolen phones of customers and start auto-dialling to premium rate numbers or set call forwarding to lucrative international revenue share numbers. The interesting part in this story is that the criminals themselves owned the premium rate services lines set up around the world to pocket the profits. As the report points out one business in Livingston, New Jersey, was hacked for $24,120. Another, in Englewood, New Jersey, was charged $83,839. Both victims suffered losses in less than 24 hours.
The latest figures from Communications Fraud Control Association suggests that the phone hacking losses are hovering around $4.42 billion and is forecast to rise because of the ease at which the cybercriminals can operate this scheme with just a mobile phone and an Internet connection. The simple message is that no one is immune to PRS and IRSF attacks – the attacks if unnoticed can range anywhere from $1,000 – $100,000 in a 24 hour period. While PRS fraud can be tackled by hot listing Premium Rate Number services, IRSF is lot more difficult to detect as the numbers in IRSF are generally not part of the official national numbering plans so the originating operator cannot easily identify the called numbers as premium rate services and hence difficult to add them to monitoring hotlists.
FRS Labs in partnership with Yates Fraud Consulting has pioneered the PRISM Database, first of its kind released as a cloud solution on August 2013. With over 100,000 IRSF Numbers – numbers updated every 4 weeks – and a wildcard number range over 4 million, this is the definitive hotlist database for Telecoms service providers, VOIP providers and MVNOs to stop IRSF attacks. PRISM is continued to be provided as a standalone hot list and offered for a low annual subscription fee. Furthermore, there are no hefty hardware or software needed to access the PRISM Database. It’s a simple cloud solution that you can start using in a few minutes to control impending IRSF attacks.
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About the Author: Shankar is a certified fraud examiner and is the Founder and CEO of Fraud Risk and Security Research Labs. Shankar has over 18 years of experience in developing complex intelligence and fraud prevention systems for Telecoms, Financial Institutions and Governments.