Commsrisk Top Ten for April 2023

Only the announcement of a change at the top of Subex, the Indian business that has employed or trained many thousands of telecoms risk professionals over the last quarter of a century, was big enough to trump a string of new stories about the unraveling of the US strategy for robocall reduction. Ironically, the UK regulator has just started a consultation about copying the US robocall strategy from 2025 onwards. They are rigging their cost-benefit analysis so that no cheaper methods of verifying CLIs are compared to STIR/SHAKEN, whilst knowing the projected benefits will be bolstered by Mickey Mouse statistics from the same businesses that also generated huge revenues from the imposition of STIR/SHAKEN in the USA.

Only a few weeks ago some tortuous ‘research’ claimed that STIR/SHAKEN will begin to reduce the fraud suffered by Americans in a few years from now, although fraud has continued to rise since STIR/SHAKEN became mandatory in 2021. The costs of projects like these are guaranteed to be huge, though they are rarely detailed in full. The supposed benefits to US consumers have meanwhile proven elusive, despite desperate attempts to gerrymander the appearance of success. Forecasts of the date on which benefits will be delivered are either vague or keep being pushed back. It is hence unsurprising that a growing number of Americans have begun voicing their dissatisfaction.

The UK’s regulator must be aware of all this but may choose to feign ignorance. I know regulatory staff read Commsrisk because they tend to get in touch after I defend them from unfair press criticism. Let us hope this is one occasion where they are less influenced by salesmen and the headlines written by self-serving journalists than by the objective measures of whether the public will be protected from harm!

These were the ten most popular Commsrisk articles during April, as ranked by unique pageviews.

  1. Subex Announces New CEO
  2. Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics and STIR/SHAKEN
  3. Five Billion Robocalls in March: Can We Finally Admit the US Strategy Is Failing?
  4. Facebook Experiments with Flash Calls
  5. STIR/SHAKEN Is ‘Full of Holes’; Top US Comms Lawyer Warns About Robocall ‘Fox in Charge of the Henhouse’
  6. Has M-PESA Led to Half of All Kenyans Suffering SIM Swap Fraud?
  7. FTC ‘Ramps Up Fight’ on Illegal Robocalls by Publicly Naming 24 Telcos They Have Warned
  8. Criminal Gangs Drive IMSI-Catcher SMS Blasters around Vietnam
  9. Do Revenue Assurance Professionals Have Nothing to Say?
  10. Hackers Insert Data-Stealing Malware into 3CX VoIP Phone System Used by 600,000 Organizations
Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.