Spoof Caller ID

In Anonymity, Hacking, Security on June 25, 2006 at 11:27 am

“Spoofing” a caller ID enables you to hide the number you are calling from and replace it with another. This is useful for those who wish for their number to be hidden, but are thwarted by systems which block anonymous calling, or for those who would prefer return calls to their home or office.

US companies such as SpoofTech and TeleSpoof provide such services which are aimed at lawyers and corporate professionals. This newsletter from Patterns of Regognition demonstrates a useful method of spoofing caller id through Bell South.

Unfortunately, the FCC now want to know who is spoofing caller ID in the US:

It’s unclear why the FCC wants to identify users of the service, or what prompted the commission to launch an investigation at this time, after permitting the sites to operate unchecked for so long. But politics may have played a role. In an Associated Press story Wednesday, Republican congressman Tim Murphy complained that a critic flooded his office last fall with recorded phone calls, and used Caller ID spoofing to cover his tracks. (Source: Wired News)

In the UK, there are currently no such services, as Ofcom prohibits the use of non-standard caller ID’s, unless the company concerned can demonstrate to their telecoms carrier of the need for a different Caller ID being generated, such as where branch offices with a centralised switchboard are involved.

However, there has been much abuse of caller ID spoofing using VoIP. SecretCalls.net is an example of such a service. Traditional phone networks operate over dedicated equipment that is difficult for outsiders to penetrate. Because VOIP calls travel over the internet, they cost much less but are vulnerable to the same security problems that plague e-mail and the web, and as such, can be manipulated to display a different number to the one actually making the call.

So be warned: the next time you check the caller ID before answering a call, it might not actually be the number it originated from!

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