Microsoft security chief bitten by rogue dialler

September 6, 2005

By Tom Espiner, ZDNet UK,39020375,39216715,00.htm

No-one is above the threat posed by rogue diallers, it seems: Microsoft's top security man in the UK recently found himself with a whopping BT bill

Rogue diallers have claimed a high-profile victim — Microsoft UK's chief security advisor Ed Gibson.

Speaking to ZDNet UK on Tuesday, Gibson revealed that he has recently been hit by a 450 (pound) bill from BT after his computer was infected with a rogue dialler.

Rogue diallers are malicious applications that hijack an Internet connection and redirect it to a premium rate number, often based abroad. They only affect dial-up connections, but some broadband users have been hit because they also have dial-up connections as a back-up. Gibson was speaking at the London "eConfidence — Spam and Scams" conference, at which he delivered a passionate attack on rogue diallers.

"I'm so perturbed about the whole area of rogue diallers… If we don't make a concerted effort to make the Internet more secure, it will be a very different place in the future," Gibson told the conference.

Gibson later revealed that he had attempted to contact ICSTIS which regulates the premium-rate number industry, but they had been unable to help him. BT has insisted that he pay the bill, Gibson said.

In March BT launched a service to protect users against rogue diallers, after being besieged with complaints from users who had received massive phone bills.

And last month, ICSTIS announced new powers to prevent the criminals who run rogue dialler scams from getting their money.

Gibson was appointed as Microsoft's chief security advisor in the UK in May this year and took up his post in July. He has previously worked for the FBI as an assistant legal attaché for the UK.

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