If you’ve ever received a robocall, you know how annoying and disruptive they can be. These unsolicited calls can range from scams to political campaigns to telemarketing pitches, and they often appear to come from local phone numbers. However, the truth is that many of these calls are “spoofed,” or disguised to look like they’re coming from a legitimate source. In recent years, the telecommunications industry has developed a solution to combat these fraudulent calls called Shaken/Stir.
What is Shaken/Stir?
Shaken/Stir is an acronym for Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs/Secure Telephone Identity Revisited. It’s a set of protocols designed to verify the authenticity of a call’s origin and prevent spoofing. Shaken/Stir works by verifying the digital signature of a call’s originating number against a registry of trusted phone numbers. If the call’s signature doesn’t match the registry, the call is flagged as potentially fraudulent and can be blocked or labeled as spam.
Why is Shaken/Stir necessary?
Spoofing has become a widespread problem in the telecommunications industry, and it’s only getting worse. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Americans received an estimated 4.5 billion robocalls per month in 2020. These calls not only disrupt people’s lives but can also be financially harmful. Scammers often use spoofing to trick people into giving out personal information, such as credit card numbers or social security numbers. Shaken/Stir is necessary to combat these fraudulent calls and restore trust in the phone system.
How does Shaken/Stir work?
Shaken/Stir works by verifying the digital signature of a call’s originating number against a registry of trusted phone numbers. This process happens in real-time, as the call is being connected, and takes only a few seconds. The digital signature is created by the originating carrier and includes information such as the call’s origination time, the caller’s phone number, and a unique cryptographic token. This information is then passed along to the terminating carrier, which can verify the signature against the trusted registry. If the signature matches, the call is connected as normal. If it doesn’t match, the terminating carrier can take action, such as blocking or labeling the call as spam.
What are the benefits of Shaken/Stir?
The benefits of Shaken/Stir are numerous. First and foremost, it helps combat the growing problem of spoofed calls. By verifying the authenticity of a call’s origin, Shaken/Stir helps prevent scammers from using spoofing to trick people into giving out personal information or money. It also helps restore trust in the phone system by ensuring that the phone numbers people see on their caller ID are accurate and trustworthy.
Another benefit of Shaken/Stir is that it helps reduce the number of unwanted calls people receive. By flagging potentially fraudulent calls, Shaken/Stir allows carriers to block or label these calls as spam, reducing the number of disruptive calls people receive.
Finally, Shaken/Stir is beneficial to businesses and organizations that rely on phone communications. By verifying the authenticity of their calls, these entities can ensure that their customers or clients see their phone number on their caller ID and are more likely to answer the call. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and better business outcomes.
Are there any drawbacks to Shaken/Stir?
While Shaken/Stir is an important step forward in combating spoofed calls, there are some potential drawbacks to the system. For example, the system relies on a trusted registry of phone numbers, which means that legitimate callers who aren’t on the registry may have their calls flagged as potentially fraudulent. This could happen if a caller is using a new phone number.
If you’re a business with a virtual number, it’s important to get your number verified on the shaken/stir network so you’re number doesn’t get tagged with nuisance (scam likely / spam) labels. With reachphone.co you can register your number with the carriers to increase your trust score.