Microsoft security chief bitten by rogue dialler

Microsoft security chief bitten by rogue dialler

Summary: 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

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TOPICS: Security
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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 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.

Topic: Security

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com. He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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9 comments
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  • Get Linux or Mac if you want security. Unix and its derivatives were designed to be secure.

    MS products were never designed to be secure. That's why I won't do business with anyone who uses MS technology on their Web site.

    "I'm so perturbed about the whole area of rogue diallers
    anonymous
  • Usual PR tactics. Phase 1: Identity a problem (within a much bigger problem). Phase 2: Market the solution (and prep the market for the follow-up solutions).
    anonymous
  • What are you telling me, the top security guy at MS has dial up?!!!
    anonymous
  • Hmmm.

    All the rogue diallers I've encountered, and avoided, have been on porn sites.

    This could explain a lot about MS software!
    anonymous
  • Mr Wilson is right, MS is designed for ease of use with
    no thought of security. No way to make MS secure.
    anonymous
  • ROFLMAO
    If that isn't karma I don't know what is. If Micro$oft cared more about security and just a little less about money / world dominance / what Google are doing... Maybe their Security chief would be
    anonymous
  • Microsoft is the perfect microcosm of America: All hat and no cattle. the best product is not necessarily the one that wins. its who can blow the most smoke up the population's ass that wins. i.e George Bush.
    anonymous
  • Unlike the rest of us, I bet he isn't made to pay it!
    anonymous
  • please advise me how i can contact ed gibson.. Thank you for enlightening me, about rogue diallers. I too have been told i am legally liable as the phone is in my name. my phone billl though is in the thousands! HELP I am not technically aufait with computers, to be able to give the evidence needed to establish these facts, need expert witnesses.Please contact me via my e.mail address as soon as possible. I am understandably very upset. as my phone has been cut off, as a direct result. Thank you
    anonymous