Today (April 5th, 2019), the 1st telecom operator of Belgium had major issues with its landline network. As a consequence, the emergency numbers (100,101, 112) were unavailable for 4 to 5 hours. Contigency solutions were rapidly set in motion but communication with the population was paramount in the effectiveness of these measures (If you setup an alternative number and nobody knows, it’s useless, isn’t it?).
The cautious amongst you who registered on the Belgium Crisis Center (@CrisisCenterBe on Twitter) early alerting system Be-Alert (https://be-alert.be), received rapidly and email informing them of the new numbers (and also of the return to the normal situation). So, no need to wait for a storm or a terrorist attack to see this governemental warning service being helpful.
So, if you weren’t registered yet, well, you just to click on the link!
On this official website, you can report SMS Spam (or other similar illegal activities) using the “New complain” button and the “SPAM from unidentified party” type of report.
I’m not sure it will be quite efficient to stop rapidly the Spam SMS from coming (most smartphone allow you to block senders for a while) but it will be the start of it. And if more and more people stat to report such behaviour, it will likely have an impact.
Notice you can also report spam or harassement coming from outside the country.
The scope is quite clear from the 1st page:
“Are you the victim of misleading practices, fraud or swindle? Or have your rights as a consumer or enterprise not been respected?
Then choose the scenario that matches your problem and follow the various steps to report your problem to the competent services.
You will always receive a reply in which we will try to provide an answer to your questions.
The competent services will analyse your report and may carry out an investigation. They do not take any action in your individual dispute, nor do they provide any information concerning the investigation. For your individual problem, we exclusively refer to the reply that will be sent to you”
Recently, DHS (US Department of Homeland Security) announced they are developing with private partners a solution to mitigate Telephony Denial of Services (TDOS) against emergency numbers and other critical phone numbers.
For the past years TDOS attacks seems to have flourish in the US. They are often used to claim a ransom to the targeted number owner.
If you have already made a Business Impact Analysis on your telephony system, your probably know how much one day of downtime might cost you. You probably have some solutions in place but, do they protect you against a TDOS?
Don’t forget to add TDOS to your list of threats if it is relevant for your business.