Dialing Back Abuse on Phone Veri?ed Accounts

TitleDialing Back Abuse on Phone Veri?ed Accounts
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsThomas, K., Iatskiv D., Bursztein E., Pietraszek T., Grier C., & McCoy D.
Other Numbers3723

In the past decade the increase of for-profit cybercrime hasgiven rise to an entire underground ecosystem supportinglarge-scale abuse, a facet of which encompasses the bulk registration of fraudulent accounts. In this paper, we present a10 month longitudinal study of the underlying technical andfinancial capabilities of criminals who register phone verifiedaccounts (PVA). To carry out our study, we purchase 4,695Google PVA as well as pull a random sample of 300,000Google PVA that Google disabled for abuse. We find thatmiscreants rampantly abuse free VOIP services to circumvent the intended cost of acquiring phone numbers, in effectundermining phone verification. Combined with short livedphone numbers from India and Indonesia that we suspect


This work was partially supported by funding provided to ICSI through National Science Foundation grants CNS : 1237265 and CNS : 1237076 (“Beyond Technical Security: Developing an Empirical Basis for Socio-Economic Perspectives”) and by the Office of Naval Research under MURI grant N000140911081. Additional funding was provided by a gift from Google. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors or originators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation, the ONR, or Google.

Bibliographic Notes

Proceedings of the 21st ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (ACM CCS), Scottsdale, Arizona

Abbreviated Authors

K. Thomas, D. Iatskiv, E. Bursztein, T. Pietraszek, C. Grier, and D. McCoy

ICSI Research Group

Networking and Security

ICSI Publication Type

Article in conference proceedings