FBI warns of VoIP fraud

The Federal Bureau of Investigations in America has warned of VoIP being used to distract customers while their bank accounts are looted. There has been an increase of such attacks over the last few months.
Typically the customer will receive several calls in which he may hear anything from a dead line to a sex tape. Meanwhile the fraudsters may be transferring money in and out of your accounts.

Robert Moore, CIO at business communications firm PAETEC said: ““With the advent of VoIP and the newest phone system technologies, the defrauding of businesses which use those platforms has become ever more sophisticated.”

The scheme is known as telephony denial-of–service (TDOS) because it aims to tie up phone lines so that even if the customer wanted to phone the authorities they would be unable to. It also means that if the criminals have contacted your financial institution to defraud you, the financial institution would be unable to contact you to verify your identity.

The perpetrators are using multiple VOIP accounts which are created by a single user. The automatic dialling tool then creates hundreds of computer-generated calls per minute.

In one such scam a dentist lost $400,000 from his account in November 2009. Although the AT&T VoIP accounts were closed the criminals were never brought to justice.

The Associate Director of Global Fraud Management for AT&T, Adam Panagia, said: “Since this first incident, across the country we have recently seen an increase in VoIP being used to distract our customers during fraudulent practices.”

British Telecom provides worldwide VoIP solution

BT has launched its first IP Exchange hardware platform which will be available worldwide.
This could significantly improve Voice over Internet Protocol for both consumers and providers as it allows VoIP calls to be connected with standard network calls. A MPLS (multi protocol label switching) network is one of the methods used to make the connections.

The managing director for BT Wholesale, Cameron Rejali said: “This is one of the first wholesale systems to aim at the global marketplace.

“The new platform will allow providers to introduce IP telephony solutions quickly and easily.

"This enables our customers to implement end-to-end IP interconnectivity in no time at all and with the absolute minimum of upfront investment."

BT has given a helping hand to small businesses as there will be no deposits necessary to make use of their IP Exchange platform. Instead they have put a pre-pay facility in place.

Already the IP Exchange platform is being used by over 100 mobile and fixed line UK operators.

Universal broadband speed would improve VoIP in Britain

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Great Britain wants the government to back minimum broadband download speeds.

This is to prevent small businesses in out-of-the-way areas from being adversely affected by slow internet.

A huge number of small businesses, 94%, claim that they are not getting the advertised internet speeds from their providers. This has decreased their productivity and hampered efficiency.

National chairman of the FSB, John Walker, said: “This lack of widely available broadband in Britain is unacceptable.

“The United Kingdom is truly lagging behind in terms of the technology available and as a result small businesses in rural areas cannot develop their companies online. This really stunts their growth."

If the government does push through such measures it will be a boon for VoIP solutions as those businesses will be able to save further by routing their telephone calls over IP telephony. It could also create some 60,000 jobs in the VoIP market, helping to ease the effects of the recession.

Preorder Samsung Wave Smartphone through Vodafone

The Samsung Wave smartphone is now available to preorder on the UK Mobile phone operator’s website at various price plans starting from only £25 per month.

This neat piece of equipment offers all the amazing smartphone benefits you would expect, like Bluetooth and WiFi, plus some amazing additions such as built in GPS, Motion Sensors, a compass and a 5 megapixel camera with LED and the ability to record High Def video. It can even play 5.1 surround sound.

A Samsung spokesperson said: “This smartphone adds a new dimension to entertainment on the go.It is perfect for social networking and has amazing high definition."

The Samsung Wave smartphone features a 3.3 inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. It also comes with Samsung's own proprietary BADA mobile platform and is powered by a Qualcomm 1Ghz ARM-based SoC. There is 2GB internal memory which is complemented by a memory card slot.

The Samsung Wave smartphone is expected to launch on June 1, 2010.

Google smartphone sales fail

Search engine giant Google may have monopolized the internet with an array of different products but it has not had the same success in the smartphone retail business.
The flagship store used to sell the Nexus One smartphone for the Android operating system is to be shut down.

Google vice-president of engineering Andy Rubin stated: “Unlike the demand for the Android platform, the web store has not lived up to our expectations.

“Instead the web store has remained a niche outlet for early adopters. It is now clear that many of our customers like a hands-on experience before buying a smartphone, and they also want to choose from a wide range of service plans.”

To the surprise of some of its competitors, Google partnered with handset manufacturer HTC to make the Android so that it could compete in the smartphone industry.

These competitors may have become annoyed at Google’s attempts to cut out the major carriers and sell the Nexus One directly through its web store. Among them last month Verizon announced that they would no longer carry the Android smartphone.

A Google statement said that the company would use the Nexus One web store to market the variety of Android phones available globally, while showcasing its smartphone through existing retail channels.

New 4G phone to improve VoIP

The launch of the first 4G phone will improve VoIP solutions. When it goes on sale next month the HTC Evo 4G, or Supersonic, handset will be the first American handset to use the Sprint 4G network.
It will allow high quality VoIP calls as well as increased data transfer.
The phone hasa 4.3 inch TFT screen with a resolution of 480x800 pixels. The operating system will be the Android 2.1 and includes a Snapdragon processor running at 1GHz. The Supersonic will have 512 of RAM and 1GB of memory. It also has a camera and wi fi capability.
Sprint chief executive Dan Hesse said: "The HTC EVO 4G is a excellent 3G device and when you connect it to the growing 4G coverage area, it becomes a multimedia powerhouse."
Pcworld.com recently did a test and found that the phone had a download speed of 13 Mbps. At this speed the 4G network can replace broadband at home as it has comparable download rates. When the HTC Evo is released, probably this summer, it will be in direct competition with the iPhone 4G.

Improved VoIP security on the Verizon

Verizon Global Wholesale is increasing the security of VoIP services by offering three secure product platforms. They will prevent unauthorized access to computers via VoIP and nullify the danger of data copying.

The Advanced Toll Free IP Termination, SIP Gateway Service and Carrier IP Termination Transport all create a secure connection for transmitting information over internet and public networks.

They do so by sharing IP Security with one secure virtual private network connection in which all data is encrypted prior to transmission. This is known as an IPSec tunnel.

On receipt the data is then verified to make sure it is unaltered. The secure tunnel means it is impossible for rogue agents to spoof an IP address to gain network access.

Companies using the Verizon platforms should now have more peace of mind about information transfer between employees who are mobile or working from home and the office.

The director of wholesale voice services for Verizon Business, Mike Yancey, said: “The IPSec tunnel offers high levels of security and flexibility to meet our customers' needs for VoIP traffic.
“They can be assured that we go the extra mile to protect their business traffic on our world-class worldwide network.”

VoIPAlarm system released to replace PSTN

NextAlarm has created a VoIpAlarm following AT&T’s request to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to shut down the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN).
The alarm monitoring service company believes it is too risky to rely on VoIP networks not to drop calls which could have grave consequences in emergencies.
Alex Elliot, the CEO of NextAlarm, said: "Shutting down the PSTN would have huge ramifications for the alarm industry.
"VoIP isn’t suited for traditional alarms as some signals will get through and some won’t.
"Most of the systems out there would be unreliable if the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) is scrapped. A customer could test the alarm one day without problems, then have a break-in that night, only to realise their system can't report the alarm. Dedicated IP systems and cellular communicators are a solution, but they are expensive and time consuming to install.”
The VoIPAlarm contacts the adapter more than once a day and if it cannot be contacted then the customer is informed that there is a problem.
Mr Elliot added: “Our VoIPAlarm platform is becoming an increasingly popular solution for companies which want to keep existing customers without an entire system replacement.”