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AT&T ANNOUNCES FURTHER STEPS FOR FIGHTING TOLL FRAUD

 BIRMINGHAM, Ala., June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Alabama's small and mid- sized companies can now better safeguard against hackers under a new AT&T service designed to help businesses fight toll fraud, a problem which costs American businesses more than $2 billion a year.
 The new NetPROTECT(sm) Plus Service is the fourth offering in the AT&T NetPROTECT family of toll fraud protection services. Now, even companies with only a key telephone system and a few extensions can buy extra protection against remote access toll fraud for only $10 per month for each company location, plus a $25 installation fee for each location.
 With NetPROTECT Plus Service, the customer gives AT&T up to three company contacts who can be reached 24 hours per day, seven days per week. When toll fraud is suspected, AT&T will notify one of the contacts on the list, and with the contact's permission AT&T will block any further calls from the PBX. Service is usually restored after the company has secured its premises equipment.
 "Small business owners have told us they want fast, accurate notification of suspected hackers, and priced so they can afford it," said Rick Roscitt, vice president of AT&T's Business Long Distance Services unit. "Now even the smallest business can afford protection from toll fraud 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
 Since 1992, AT&T has offered services and products for combating toll fraud, including techniques that allow AT&T to identify patterns of toll fraud faster than any other long distance company. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, AT&T technicians use computers to scan 800 service and international call records for patterns that might indicate toll fraud.
 Suspicious calling patterns from a customer's location may be a high number of calls to certain countries known for high toll fraud, or heavy calling during the evening or on weekends when employees are not expected to be on the company premises.
 AT&T's NetPROTECT Basic Service has automatically been provided at no cost to all AT&T business customers since August 1992. Customers have had the option to purchase more protection with either NetPROTECT Advanced or Premium Services, but they are designed primarily for large companies. The new NetPROTECT Plus Service is designed for small and mid-sized companies with calling volumes of $20,000 or less per month.
 Since the company introduced AT&T NetPROTECT last August, more than 2,500 alleged hackers have been thrown off the AT&T 800 network, about 1,000 customers each month have been notified of suspected toll fraud and the average toll fraud loss has dropped more than 75 percent.
 In a survey conducted by Telecommunications Advisors last month, AT&T was ranked first among the three major long distance carriers in nine of 13 categories of toll fraud protection. Included were efforts such as "ability to monitor," "ability to warn and contact the customer," and "toll fraud seminars."
 The faster a company can respond to and block suspected fraud, the more it can keep its toll fraud costs down. The FCC has ruled that a company is liable for PBX toll fraud calls made from its owned or leased equipment. The NetPROTECT Plus Service is a low-cost tool to aid companies in the detection of thieves who gain illicit access to the public long distance network.
 A tariff to provide AT&T NetPROTECT Plus Service is being filed today with the Federal Communications Commission, to be effective July 30, for areas where AT&T provides call detail recording. These areas include about 92 percent of all U.S. business sites. For more information, call 800-NET-SAFE.
 -0- 6/15/93
 /CONTACT: Anissa Klisch, 404-810-8274 or, home, 404-242-8345; or David Bikle, 201-644-7052 or, home, 201-871-0104, both of AT&T/
 (T)


CO: American Telephone & Telegraph Company ST: Alabama IN: TLS SU:

BR-BN -- AT004 -- 2174 06/15/93 13:32 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 15, 1993
Words:650
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