How Are Wireless Carriers Protecting Their Customers

by Istvan Fekete on February 4, 2013

In its efforts to make its services more secure, Telecoms company Telus has announced the acquisition of Digital WYZDOM Forensics Inc. The merger will add another layer of security by providing digital forensic capabilities to Telus Security Solutions dedicated to identifying security risks and proactively responding to potential threats.

Although the financial terms of the recently closed deal weren’t disclosed, the Telus press release specifies that the company has selected the Canadian Digital WYZDOM based on its people, technology and a shared vision that customers are first when it comes to their security and forensic needs. WYZDOM is renowned for its digital forensics, network security, E-discovery, intellectual property and fraud advisory services, which it provides to organizations and legal counsels across the country.

“Security breaches in the marketplace are on the rise and the demand for forensics services is expected to grow for the foreseeable future – there are few firms in Canada with credible experts in this field like Digital WYZDOM,” said Yogen Appalraju, vice-president of TELUS Security Solutions. “By committing to the forensics market with a best-in-class solution, combined with the power of TELUS’ networking, collaboration and mobility solutions for businesses, TELUS is well positioned to support customers in identifying risks and proactively responding to potential threats.”

In the era of interconnected devices, telecom companies are fighting against scams and fraud as multiple reports coming from mobile subscribers show how vulnerable they (their online accounts) are to hackers. The effect is devastating: As Telus points out, toll fraud or theft of long-distance services is big business in North America, and it is estimated to cost as much as $100 million per year in Canada.

One of the most prominent cases of toll fraud was reported by a Bell Canada customer who ended up with a $207,000 phone bill after hackers broke into a voicemail system and placed a large volume of long-distance calls.

Another form of phone scams was reported by Telus subscribers who reported picking up a phone call from a 905-395-XXXX number and hearing a recorded message: “Hello. Because you are a valued Telus customer, you will receive 3,000 travel-dollars. To accept press 1.” Telus subscribers who pressed 1, were connected to a person who used Telus’ name and tried to extract personal information from them, likely for identity theft.

But this isn’t all. A recent report from a Rogers customer states she received a receipt from the Pacific Centre Apple Store in her email for an iPhone 5 64 GB upgrade — out of the blue. Also, they noticed that their Rogers plan had been changed from a business to basic consumer plan, by an individual named Patrick.

The above cases show there is room for improvement in this area, and raises some serious questions, such as how secure is your online mobile account? Although each of the telecom companies are informing their subscribers how to protect themselves from hackers, Telus seems to have been the first to make a firm move.

Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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