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TOPIC: dialup connection and security

dialup connection and security 12 years 11 months ago #2061

  • jackeen
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Hi all

this is my first post in a long time,so i'll start off by saying what a great job chris and the firewall team have done updating this website.

back to the reason why i'm here.

i am having problems with my isp and the fact they are trying to rip me off.so here i am at probably the best networking site out there to once again get my facts right.

this is my setup a pc connected to the internet through a 56k modem using one isp low rate dial up number there is no phone in the house,you get my drift the line is just for internet access.so in thery there should just be one number on the bill for which i am getting billed for.but theres not.my isp is charging me for some premium rate number as well every month for which they are claiming that when i am on the net after i am connected that a different number is being dialed without my knowledge.

now after all that chitchat above,

what i want to know?

1.is it possible while you are connected to the net for some program to change dial up numbers with out droping you current connection.

2.what can i do to prevent this.


sorry about the long post sometimes things are better explained in detail. :x
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Re: dialup connection and security 12 years 11 months ago #2063

  • sahirh
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Jackeen, welcome back !

From whatever knowledge I have of phone systems, I'd say that on a normal phone line its impossible for the modem to dial another number without dropping carrier on the current connection. An ISDN phone line which can support many devices concurrently on one line may be able to do something like this.

I'm not sure what sort of phone system you have where you are, but somehow it doesnt sound right.

CHeers
Sahir Hidayatullah.
Firewall.cx Staff - Associate Editor & Security Advisor
tftfotw.blogspot.com
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Re: dialup connection and security 12 years 11 months ago #2068

  • Chris
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About time we say you back online Jackeen :roll:

We are glad your enjoying the site as there has been a lot of work put into the new portal to get it working and make it also look good! We even changed hosting providers cause of it !

Now, coming back to your post.... There is definately something fishy happening here.

Timed calls aren't new news in Greece as our phone carriers work the same way, charging us two rates, one for the phone call and one for the Internet access.

You say your ISP is charging you for some premium number that's dialled without your knowledge, and this is simply a load of crap. I'm not sure they even know what's happening here but its not normal!

As Sahir correctly noted, its not possible for a modem to dial to your ISP, connect to the Internet and then automatically dial to another number while your still online.

On any normal PSTN (Public Switching Telephone Network), the line must be dropped and the modem would require to dial the 'special' phone number for which you are being charged.

Adding to what Sahir said about ISDN lines, a normal Basic Rate ISDN line would allow you to have two devices dialing out the same time, but since your using one 56k modem, this wouldn't be the case for you.

It is possible that there is a trojan on your pc that's causing the new dialup to happen, but if your on the PC, you will certainly notice the line drop and hear the modem connecting to another number and performing the squeaking handshake.

If you never saw this happen while your online, and never tend to leave the pc connected for hours, even when your not at home, then there is no way this could have happened.

There are some neat programs that keep track of your calls and online time, to help you calculate the costs of your Internet access. This will help you determine what calls your pc made and at what times. You can grab a a few at tucows.com or download.com.

It would also be a good idea to grab an antivirus, even a demo version, just to make sure your PC is clean.

If your evidence shows that no 'special' numbers have been dialled, call your provider up and ask for a detailed description about these wired phone calls.

Let us know the outcome !

Cheers,
Chris Partsenidis.
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
www.Firewall.cx
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Re: dialup connection and security 12 years 11 months ago #2078

  • jackeen
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thanks guys for your reply,

just to update you's a little this have been happening for the last four months thats 2 billing periods.the first time i noticed it on my bill i had norton av 2003 install and up to date.most security patches where install too. you know how its is.

after i seen the premium rate calls on my bill and enquired about it,i was told it was due to certain sites that i was visiting they where changing the number i was dialing up.which i thought was dodgy.

so i decided to thighten things up a bit,i installed norton internet security 2004,which i'm not to sure about yet.but it seems to do the job.and regulary checked add/remove programs and my dial up connection settings for any dodgy been installed.

i requested a detail statement and noticed that the premium rate number was a 1509 number to which i have to find out what is for.
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Re: dialup connection and security 12 years 11 months ago #2079

  • sahirh
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You might want to check if something has installed dialer software on your machine.. though somehow that sounds doubtful...

Since this is costing you money, I recommend you do something that I don't normally recommend... format and start over.. when you have a clean install if you find it happening again you'll have made sure the problem is not on your end and is something that your ISP is doing.

There is no way that the modem can maintain a connection and dial another connection, but something may be installed on your machine thats making the modem dial another number at another point of time.. and I'm sure it wouldn't be hard for a program to mute the modem speaker volume.

Anyway that is just conjecture.. I suggest you reinstall. Oh yeah and find out what that number is.

Cheers,
Sahir Hidayatullah.
Firewall.cx Staff - Associate Editor & Security Advisor
tftfotw.blogspot.com
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