Happy New Year, Happy New Bot!

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Robots in an organized group. Fraudulent call centers are switching to auto-dialing.

The scammers’ call centers have improved their tactics, cybersecurity experts discovered: now a robot calls people, and a person connects at the next stage, when the most distrustful customers are eliminated. The new approach makes it possible to reduce the cost of an attack and increase its conversion. If earlier such call centers worked from prisons, now they have come out into the wild and even abroad, therefore, to combat them, new solutions need to be tested in “legal sandboxes”, experts say.

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Gaining popularity in Russia robotic phone scamsin which the initial calls of victims are carried out by automated call centers, the newspaper told Kommersant IT security experts. “The robot says: “Your card in this bank is blocked, call us back at this number”… When the victim calls back, allegedly the bank’s security officers answer, “explains the technical director. Qrator Labs Artem Gavrichenkov. According to him, hundreds of calls are made a day according to the scheme.

This type of fraud is experiencing a wave of popularity, confirms the head of the analytical department. Infosecurity a Softline Company Daria Koshkina. Last year she warned about different formats of telephone fraud Group-IB, notes Sergey Nikitin, deputy head of the computer forensics laboratory of the company.

Attackers, he said, can call from fake numbers using IP telephony services, send bulk SMS or messages in WhatsApp and Viber on behalf of the bank, or connect an answering machine that reports a problem, and only then connects a “live operator” to the conversation.

The scheme uses the technique “Reverse social engineering”: the victim calls the “security service” herself, which means that there is no need to overcome the wall of mistrust, says the head of the information security department SerchInform Alexey Drozd. If the victim trusts the autoinformer and calls back, the “conversion” of the attack is higher than with a regular call, he adds. People are not yet accustomed to the fact that scammers can use autodials, so the robot increases the level of initial trust, the head of the direction agrees. “Information Security” company STEP Andrey Zaikin.

Technology also makes attack cheaper, adds CTO Trend Micro in Russia and the CIS Mikhail Kondrashin. The robot is a simple software for auto-dialing, says Mr. Zaikin. For the creation of such a bot, developers of voice platforms usually do not charge a fee, and the average cost of a call is 2.5–3.5 rubles. per minute, based on prices Voximplant and self-development of a solution by the client, said in this company.

In order not to become a victim of fraudsters, it is enough to call the bank at the number indicated on its card or official website and ask if the card was really blocked, says Daria Koshkina.

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It is also worth installing a security solution that detects fraudulent and spam numbers, adds a leading expert Kaspersky Lab Sergey Golovanov.

If earlier many fake call centers operated from prisons, then recently, according to Group-IB, most are organized outside and sometimes even abroad. To neutralize them, international cooperation at the state level is necessary, experts say. (see “Kommersant” from October 1 ).

Only effective work of law enforcement agencies can change the situation, Mikhail Kondrashin believes. Aleksey Drozd believes that in this case it is necessary to test solutions that are not yet permitted by law in the recently legalized “legal sandboxes”. For example, the expert suggests, in experimental mode, the analysis of the contents of the first seconds of the conversation on the side of the telecom operator can be allowed. It is enough to set up recognition to identify combinations “Word-triggers” (“Security service”, “bank”, “transaction”, names of banks), send a verification request to the bank’s system, and then, if the answer is negative, the connection will be interrupted, and while the fraudster dials the number again, the victim can be warned automatically with a message from the bank.

The main thing to remember:
¡A call from the ” Sberbank security service ” is a SCAM and a dangerous SCAM! Be very careful and do not share your personal data with ANYONE (PAN – Card number of 16 digits (sometimes 18), PIN-code, Name and Surname of the holder, CVV2 / CVC2 / CVP2 codes from cards (numbers on the back of the card), Expired – Card expiration date and SMS code), even to bank employees! Check the details of transfers and payments that come in SMS from the bank.
If possible, warn others about this.
This will help us deal with fraudsters faster.

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