Voice spoofing, Do you know who's calling?

12 July 2022

Telephone fraud, a growing challenge

Cybersecurity is probably one of the biggest challenges of current society. Most recent published data show that in 2020 Spanish police received over 287.000 cybercrime complaints. This is over 30% more than the year before and in comparison with 2017 information, the number of complaints have doubled in this last 3 years. Diving deeper in the data provided by the Spanish Government we can see that the most common criminal activity is that of fraud (257.907 cases in 2020, 90% of the total cybercrime complaints) of which half of those frauds are credit/debit card number theft. The other half of fraud complaints in 2020 (132.950) are identity theft based fraud.

Suplantación del identificador de la llamada.

Voice Spoofing and the loss of truth in communications.

In Spain the “traditional” channels of online fraud using identity theft are mail and SMS. Nevertheless, it is getting more and more common to see criminals performing this kind of activities using voice communications (also known as “Voice Spoofing“). In this kind of attack, the criminal is able to fake the identity of a legitimate user by superseding the calling number ID.

As an example, in the USA it is estimated that a 77% of the fraud theft was performed using this voice spoofing technique. The key to secure communications between users is in the user authentication and validation in the calls, so this is probably one of the biggest challenges to solve in the following years.

The big problem is that this sort of attack affects a wide array of sectors, but is specially critical in the banking industry. In this scenario a criminal could use the bank identity to cause a big and direct economic loss to users.

The criminals leverage in the fact that the users are not able to know whether a call is legitimate or not. In this way, the proliferation of this sort of fraud produces in the users the tendency to lose their trust on the phone and the veracity of the callers.

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