IST2900 Digital Forensic Examiner
WK4 Cell Phone Incident Discussion
I found a great article for this week’s discussion. Thanks to an article prepared by Jenna McLaughlin, I have learned that there are criminal groups have been sending threatening messages in the past couple of months to companies that manage broadband phone services all over the world, promising they’ll flood the digital phone lines with traffic and take them offline unless the targets pay a ransom (McLaughlin, 2021).
These attackers and / or extortionists have discovered that the number of phone calls that take place at least partially over the internet has quietly and dramatically increased in recent years, and there’s a lot at stake when major providers go down (McLaughlin, 2021).
For example, line providers, companies that manage digital phone calls, also known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, are required to transmit audio in real time, facilitating personal, business and even emergency calls (McLaughlin, 2021).
This attack is probably a bigger part of our lives than many people realize (McLaughlin, 2023). It’s much cheaper and often more accessible and scalable, a staple of working from home during the coronavirus pandemic (McLaughlin, 2021). I personally do not agree with that statement, but this is not my article. Small companies and people living overseas might have been using purely digital phone lines for years to reach customers, friends and family abroad (McLaughlin, 2021). Large carriers and telecommunication companies often use VoIP to handle calls or connections between providers, while smaller carriers are routing tens of thousands of simultaneous calls over the internet. Call center companies handle over 1 million digital calls a day (McLaughlin, 2021). This sort of freaks me out.
In closing, this article explained that the FBI was given the authority in recent years to disrupt botnets, which are essentially zombie armies of compromised devices that attackers use to flood their victims with traffic (McLaughlin, 2021). It’s possible those kinds of authorities would be helpful in going after these criminal groups (McLaughlin, 2021). Reportedly, AT&T announced it has “taken steps to mitigate” a botnet that targeted thousands of VoIP servers within its network, though it’s unclear whether that botnet was designed to launch denial of service attacks or for another purpose (McLaughlin, 2021).