Going to DEF CON? Help defeat annoying robocalls!

How many times have you had a telephone call from “Rachel at Cardholder Services”? For me it is literally hundreds. I know it’s a scam designed to get me to reveal personal identifying information (PII) that can later be used for identity theft. I just hang up (or, better still, never answer in the first place). But it must work because whoever is behind “Rachel” has been using this tactic for years. blogphoto Going to DEF CON? Help defeat annoying robocalls!

Now the Federal Trade Commission has launched “Zapping Rachel,” a challenge to the hacker community to help track down perpetrators of this and other illegal robocalls and scams. And they are turning to the hacker community attending DEF CON 22 in Las Vegas in August. The contest follows last month’s second annual “National Day of Civil Hacking,” which was supported by the White House.

“Zapping Rachel” consists of three stand-alone contests at DEF CON, one of the oldest and largest hacker conferences in the world. Here’s what the FTC says:

“The Federal Trade Commission is looking to expand the technological arsenal that can be used in the battle against illegal phone spammers by challenging DEF CON 22 attendees to build the ultimate ‘honeypot’ to lure in and identify perpetrators of illegal robocalls. A robocall honeypot is an information system designed to attract robocallers, which can help experts and law enforcement authorities understand and combat illegal calls.

Interested? More information is available at the FTC website now, and complete rules will be posted at challenge.gov in advance of the competition.

Thanks for helping get rid of the bad guys!

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About Katherine Hutt

Katherine R. Hutt, Director of Communications and Media Relations with the Council of Better Business Bureaus, is an award-winning communicator who has been helping nonprofit organizations tell their stories for the past 25 years. She was a CBBB consultant on numerous projects for more than a decade before joining the staff in 2011.