Feeds

Sri Lanka blocks South Pacific in rogue dialer crackdown

Cut off the usual suspects

Boost IT visibility and business value

Sri Lanka is to block direct dialling to 13 countries, mostly in the South Pacific, in a move designed to combat the growing menace of rogue autodiallers. The ban comes into force on Tuesday (1 November), AFP reports.

Rogue dialers change the number used in dial-up connections to an expensive international number. Sometimes users are offered access to porn sites in return for changing their internet access numbers to what turn out be premium rate or international numbers. More often changes in dial-up numbers are carried out surreptitiously using malicious code. Through the dialer, users' modems are silently disconnected, then reconnected to the internet through an international long-distance number. Consumers typically realise that their internet dial-up settings have been changed only when they receive a phone bill with high call charges to international destinations, generating complaints.

In response, Sri Lanka Telecom has told ISPs and service providers to block direct dial calls to countries including the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, the Wallis and Futana Islands and Western Samoa. The block to these countries will stay in enforced for at least three months.

The scam only affects people who use a regular dialup modem to get online, but there are many regions where dialup is still in widespread use. Rogue dialer scams are commonplace throughout the world, generating varied regulatory responses. Ireland instituted a similarly motivated block in October 2004 but in that case specific phone numbers can be unblocked at the request of subscribers. Local users in Sri Lanka will have to use operator-assisted calls to blocked countries but are prevented from placing (cheaper) direct dialled calls themselves. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms firm here
Is goTenna tech a goer? Time to grill CEO, CTO
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.