Who has the Ultimate Responsibility for Eliminating Modem Hijacking?

(PRWEB) January 28, 2005 — Modem hijacking occurs when a dialer program is installed on a computer, with or without the owner’s knowledge or consent, and proceeds to reconnect the computer to another server, usually located in another country. This results in a very costly experience for the owner, but it can be prevented. Finding a solution to this problem consists of two parts: making computer owners aware of this fraud and informing them that there is a software solution to the problem.

As for reaching PC owners to explain the risks involved, ReconnectWarning as well as the other software makers that specifically target it do not have the resources to alert everyone that modem hijacking exists in the first place and that there is a software solution. We have made efforts in this area with press releases and advertising but we can reach only a comparatively small segment of the home computer owner population.

On the other hand, the U.S. government’s Fair Trade Commission(FTC) has the power and authority and it provides information on the scam and how to protect a computer from this scam. Next are the Internet safety departments of each state, which have the same duty for the residents of their individual states. Other sources of information are TV and radio stations, on-air and online, and newspapers and magazines, both printed and online. Lastly are the phone companies, which give alerts at intervals. With all of these sources, some home computer users are still in the dark about modem hijacking, both of its existence and the available protective measures. None of these sources mention a software solution. Our efforts in this area have included searching the Internet for articles, then contacting the authors, suggesting an update, mentioning our software program as well as the names of a few others. Several replied with further questions and said they would include this information in their next coverage of the fraud. But if the article was recent, this may mean next year.

We sent E-mails to the large U.S. phone companies, supplying the program names and suggested that they would be doing their subscribers a service if they sent out bulletins with this information. The response? No response except from one that sent us the E-mail equivalent of a form letter, saying that they couldn’t assist us with our enquiry. One reason may be that our programs compete with some of the services that the phone companies provide. But consider this: With all of the many anti-virus programs, firewalls, spyware/adware removers and international call blocking, why did the number of modem hijackings increase in 2004? The reason is that the hijackers can bypass all of these countermeasures.

Do the entities mentioned above have the ultimate responsibility? Our answer is no, they don’t. We’ll give you a small analogy. Who has the ultimate responsibility for the security of the home? Of course, we think you will agree that the home owner has this role, by making sure emergency phone numbers are close to the phone, by locking the windows and doors and, in some circumstances, having a double lock on the door. In the same way, we believe that the home computer owner has the ultimate responsibility for securing the home PC by using all of the countermeasures above and, as the double lock, the ReconnectWarning software program. If each PC owner takes these responsibilities seriously and installs a program that specifically targets modem hijacking, then this fraud can be eliminated.

If you have read this press release and do not have and do not plan to install ReconnectWarning or one of our competitors’ programs, think about the next point. As more and more home computer owners install one of these programs, the number of computers that are susceptible to this threat becomes lower, resulting in a higher risk for the unprotected ones.

Because of the above entities’ inability or reluctance to take the necessary steps to prevent modem hijacking, you will have to depend on yourself for full protection. Do your part and provide the double lock for your computer or this scam will continue to find victims. Do more than your part and E-mail this release to your family and friends, print it out and take to work with you. With little or no cooperation from the big people, to eliminate this threat will take a grass-root effort.

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