ATIS Launches Industry Testbed to Advance Mitigation of Unwanted Robocalling and Caller ID Fraud

Neustar to serve as exclusive testing organization

WASHINGTON — Feb. 2, 2017 —  ATIS announced today that it has launched a virtualized testbed to advance industry efforts to mitigate unwanted robocalls and caller ID spoofing. The testbed will facilitate implementation of ATIS’ new specification to authenticate and verify calling party information.  ATIS has appointed Neustar as the exclusive provider of the standing testbed.

Unwanted robocalling is the FCC’s number one source of consumer complaints. Consumers get annoyed at the time they waste answering unwanted calls and lose millions of dollars every year to caller fraud. To address this recognized industry problem, an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) working group drafted three related standards, which collectively define a means to authenticate the calling party number, securely transport this information “on the wire” and verify it at the receiving end. To put these standards into action, the ATIS/SIP Forum IP-NNI Task Force has developed SHAKEN (Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs), a trusted identity framework that provides guidance for service providers implementing Caller ID network validation.

Together, the IETF standards and SHAKEN give service providers the tools they need to consistently authenticate, digitally sign and verify calling party numbers. This functionality enables network operators to stop suspicious calls before they reach their subscribers, or provide notifications that allow consumers to decide whether to answer a call. SHAKEN also includes important capabilities to assist law enforcement in finding the source of unwanted calls.

Neustar will provide a virtualized platform to facilitate interoperability testing. This distributed test environment will help service providers, suppliers and third parties verify implementation of the new SHAKEN framework in a representative network configuration that removes testing obstacles and will accelerate the validation of industry standards. The testbed provides a standing lab for interested parties to test their planned implementations against the relevant industry standards.

“The Robocalling Testbed brings the industry together in a neutral environment to fully vet its planned implementation of ATIS’ SHAKEN mitigation technique,” said ATIS President and CEO Susan Miller. “The Testbed validates an important enabler that will enhance the effectiveness of a wide range of solutions to block unwanted calls. Findings will both advance the goals of the FCC Robocall Strike Force and contribute to consumer confidence in communications networks and services.”

“AT&T commends ATIS and Neustar’s efforts to address unwanted robocalling and enhance the consumer caller ID experience,” said Melissa Arnoldi, President – Technology Development, AT&T. “The collaborative development of new solutions using the latest standards ensures solutions are real-world tested and set up for wide-spread adoption to tackle this critical issue for consumers.”

“Neustar is pleased to take a leading role in driving solutions to solve this key industry and consumer issue,” said Hank Skorny, Senior Vice President, Neustar and member of the ATIS Board of Directors. “Through our Neustar Trust Lab and the testing facilities, we are helping to restore trust in communications to drive our connected world forward.”

Any service provider with an assigned Operating Company Number (OCN), as maintained by the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. (NECA), is eligible to participate.  Participation is free of charge.  Other parties, such as equipment manufacturers, may participate if they have solutions relevant to the SHAKEN framework available to test.  Results from the testing will remain confidential under non-disclosure agreements. Aggregate and anonymized findings will be shared in the ATIS Testbeds Focus Group to further advance caller ID spoofing and robocalling solutions.  Interested companies may also perform lab-to-lab testing utilizing the ATIS SHAKEN test plan, and report their findings to ATIS.

To participate in the ATIS Robocalling Testbed, contact Jim McEachern, Senior Technology Consultant, ATIS, or visit www.atis.org/robocallingtestbed.

The ATIS Robocalling Testbed is one of several key industry resources ATIS is delivering to mitigate robocalling. Other resources include the whitepapers Calling Party Spoofing Mechanisms and Mitigation Techniques as well as Developing Calling Party Spoofing Mitigation Techniques: ATIS’ Role. Learn more about ATIS’ robocalling mitigation work.

Comments