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News tagged: scam


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by Karl Bode 04:36PM Friday Nov 22 2013
Security research firm Renesys has authored an interesting blog post noting how they're seeing a significant uptick in the number of large-scale man in the middle attacks. What's more, insists the firm, these attacks are increasingly gobbling up a larger and larger share of overall Internet traffic without most people bothering to notice.

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Since February, the firm states they have observed 38 distinct events in which significant blocks of Internet traffic have been covertly redirected to routers at Icelandic or Belarusian service providers. Renesys provides one such example of a trace from Guadalajara, Mexico to Washington, DC that goes through Moscow and Minsk:
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Mexican provider Alestra hands it to PCCW for transit in Laredo, Texas. PCCW takes it to the Washington, DC metro area, where they would normally hand it to Qwest/Centurylink for delivery.

Instead, however, PCCW gives it to Level3 (previously Global Crossing), who is advertising a false Belarus route, having heard it from Russia’s TransTelecom, who heard it from their customer, Belarus Telecom. Level3 carries the traffic to London, where it delivers it to Transtelecom, who takes it to Moscow and on to Belarus. Beltelecom has a chance to examine the traffic, and then sends it back out on the “clean path” through Russian provider ReTN.
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by Karl Bode 09:02AM Friday Nov 22 2013
Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell has announced that AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have struck an agreement with forty-five states to stop billing for "premium" SMS services. Such services have long been a source of fraud and cramming, with carriers allowing the annoying services to thrive because they received a cut of the profit (often as high as 40%).
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by Karl Bode 10:25AM Thursday Nov 14 2013
One of the most notable bits in Sandvine's recent study on bandwidth and Internet traffic is that the doomsday bandwidth apocalypse scenarios breathlessly predicted by numerous analysts, lobbyists, and ISPs never materialized. While peak bandwidth usage is still healthy and growing at 40%, overall bandwidth growth continues to slow substantially, continuing to be manageable with only modest network investment.
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by Karl Bode 02:38PM Wednesday Oct 02 2013
You might recall how last year, police in Pennsylvania busted a large group of individuals and a Comcast employee that had been illegally offering users a lower monthly rate for a one-time fee of between $150 and $200. Comcast estimates the ring caused them more than $2.4 million in losses, with between 5,700 and 6,000 signing up for the offer between 2011 and 2012. The ring ultimately collapsed after they offered the discount to a skeptical customer that contacted Comcast. Now the man considered to be the second in command of the ring has plead guilty, according to the Montgomery News website.

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by Karl Bode 09:02AM Wednesday Aug 14 2013
Back in May our users uncovered a Canadian scam being run by several individuals who were pretending to be entirely fake ISPs in order to collect customer cash and private user information. Using ISP names like "Cable Gator" and "Go Cable Solutions," the scammers promise users broadband service they can't get, demand $100 down payments and personal data including SIN and driver's license numbers, then skirt off with the cash.
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by Karl Bode 02:41PM Tuesday Aug 06 2013
A rather amazing story has bubbled up over the last week after half of the onion sites in the TOR network were compromised, revealing the supposedly anonymous identities of Tor users. Malware popped up last Sunday morning on numerous sites hosted by anonymous hosting operation Freedom Hosting, the code exploiting a critical memory management vulnerability in Firefox (see the Tor security advisory).
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by Karl Bode 02:35PM Friday Jul 12 2013
We've long tracked the cable industry's tendency to sometimes hire less than qualified installation subcontractors, who then proceed to do all manner of interesting things including falling asleep, killing people, torturing kittens, digging in the wrong yard, or blowing up laptops, dishwashers and homes. However Broadband Reports regular David See Profile directs our attention to a story out of Alabama that adds tax fraud to the ongoing legacy.
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by Karl Bode 03:09PM Wednesday Jun 19 2013
We've explored just how corrupt and dysfunctional West Virginia has been when it came to spending their $126.3 million in broadband stimulus funds. Local Charleston Gazette reporter Eric Eyre has been doing an absolutely fantastic job the last few years, highlighting how Verizon, Frontier and Cisco convinced the state to buy ridiculously overpriced, overpowered and unused routers, and ridiculously overpaid, redundant consultants who haven't actually accomplished anything.
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by Karl Bode 02:44PM Friday Jun 07 2013
Long after this week's surveillance firestorm erupted, the White House has finally seen fit to grace the public with some justifications for their wholesale secret spying on pretty much everyone, everywhere, all the time. In a speech (full video here), Obama effectively stated that spying on such a ridiculous scale is a "critical" tool in the country's arsenal, and that both of the programs exposed in more detail this week were approved by Congress, and therefore perfectly ok.
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by Karl Bode 05:49PM Tuesday May 28 2013
Users in our Canadian broadband forums claim to have stumbled into what appears to be an identity theft and scam outfit posing as bogus ISPs in order to swindle users out of installation deposits and personal information. The alleged scam first came to light when users noticed a Canadian ISP by the name of "Cable Gator" offering users 200 Mbps service in regions that can't get those speeds.
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by Karl Bode 12:29PM Friday May 24 2013
Back in April we noted that AT&T was imposing a new $0.61 "Mobility Administrative Fee" on all postpaid wireless subscriber bills. According to AT&T's website, the sneaky fee "helps defray certain expenses AT&T incurs," though like AT&T's equally nonsensical "regulatory recovery fee," those expenses should be included in the cost of doing business, and not buried beneath the line.
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by Karl Bode 08:28AM Wednesday May 15 2013
As I've been discussing a lot lately (because it's the most important issue facing the broadband sector right now), both AT&T and Verizon are in the process of gutting regulations that require they continue offering copper landlines -- and by proxy DSL -- to tens of millions of Americans. Both companies insist that they're simply interested in "modernizing regulations" and ushering us into an "all IP age." In reality, both companies simply want to exit the fixed-line market in areas they're unwilling to upgrade.
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by Karl Bode 03:19PM Thursday Apr 18 2013
CISPA, which critics insist erodes consumer privacy under the pretense of "cybersecurity," has passed the House with a vote of 288 to 127. CISPA isn't seeing the kind of corporate opposition SOPA did (read: Google) because in many instances it protect companies from being fast and loose with personal data, which is why it has the support of companies like AT&T and Verizon.
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by Karl Bode 08:29AM Thursday Feb 21 2013
Back in January, former FCC boss turned cable's top lobbyist Michael Powell finally acknowledged that caps on fixed-line broadband networks weren't actually about congestion -- after the cable industry spent much of the last decade arguing caps were all about congestion. Powell did continue perpetuating the myth that caps and overages were about fairness, when most people at this point realize it's simply about driving up the price of data a. because a lack of competition allows it and b. to offset inevitable TV revenue losses to Internet video.
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by Karl Bode 08:39AM Monday Dec 03 2012
I've noted that while a lot of the talk of the UN "taking over the Internet" is American business interest hyperbole, international telcos have been using the upcoming talks about Internet governance to push the international telco dream of forcing content companies to subsidize network builds. It's a cash grab by government-pampered monopolists, plain and simple.
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by Karl Bode 10:37AM Thursday Aug 30 2012
The New Republic notes that one of the cornerstones of the GOP's technology agenda being firmed up at the convention this week (aside from censoring porn, opposing net neutrality and further eliminating consumer protections) is "spectrum reform." The New Republic argues that spectrum reform in GOP parlance is really just code for taking any and all spectrum you can find and selling it to AT&T and Verizon, so they can squat on it and prevent additional competitors from entering the marketplace (aka protectionism).

In addition to just throwing money at the GOP, the incumbents and the GOP sell the idea of further protecting the nation's duopoly from competition by insisting they're just super concerned about bringing broadband to rural users.
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by Karl Bode 08:28AM Wednesday Aug 29 2012
Dish is already in hot water with the FTC for ignoring the Do Not Call Registry, and now the satellite carrier's mailers are causing some additional annoyance for consumers. The Consumerist points out how the company is also sending consumers a mailer with the words "INSTALLATION NOTICE," along with a specific "Appointment No." listed on the front. The additional message of "welcome to the DISH family" on the back tricks customers into thinking they've already been signed up for service, prompting them to call in to Dish. As some Consumerist commenters note such ads are all too common, with so many mail spam these days dressed up as official correspondence designed to catch the eye. However, letting customers know you're dishonest right off the bat doesn't seem like a winning brand strategy.

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by Karl Bode 04:22PM Thursday Mar 22 2012
Since around 2004 we've talked about the significant amount of fraud involved in the government's IP Relay service, which is intended to help the hearing impaired communicate with phone users via the Internet with the help of paid transcription workers. Unfortunately, for the better part of a decade the service has been abused by scammers and other assorted technoscumbags, with carriers doing nothing about it because they're paid by the FCC (aka you) about $1.50 per minute to carry this traffic.
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by Karl Bode 02:49PM Thursday Feb 23 2012
As we've been discussing lately, there's many people who like to insist we're always facing an unavoidable "capacity crisis" that never arrives. If you find someone engaging in capacity scare mongering, they're usually selling hardware (Cisco, Sandvine), bad anti-competitive policy and high price justifications (carrier lobbyists), or eager to make a buck off of spectrum auctions (FCC).
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by Karl Bode 02:13PM Wednesday Feb 08 2012
Back in October Mobile WiMax operator Open Range Communications filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. At the time, Open Range still owed $73.5 million of a $267 million loan from the U.S.
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