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SPRINT ESTIMATES SECURITY PROGRAMS REDUCE PBX FRAUD BY 90 PERCENT

SPRINT ESTIMATES SECURITY PROGRAMS REDUCE PBX FRAUD BY 90 PERCENT
 WASHINGTON, June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Sprint's (NYSE: FON) new anti-telephone toll fraud security programs have reduced losses by approximately 90 percent for its business customers in the first half of 1992, the company today told the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance.
 "At Sprint, Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) fraud is the exception, not the rule," said Robert F. Fox, Sprint assistant vice president of security. "Since January 1992, the average loss per CPE fraud incident is less than $2,000.
 "We attribute this significant decrease to the full implementation of Sprint's inbound and outbound traffic analysis process. "Based on current data, we anticipate less than 250 outward bound international CPE fraud incidents in 1992," he said.
 CPE fraud, estimated to cost businesses upwards of $1 billion annually, occurs when Private Branch Exchanges (PBXs), voice mail systems, auto attendants and call diverters are "compromised," allowing individuals to make unauthorized long distance calls from the CPE.
 Sprint offers its business customers two anti-fraud security programs -- the standard SprintGUARD, a five-day-a-week program available at no extra charge, and SprintGUARD Plus, the industry's first protection program which offers 365 days a year CPE fraud analysis, and which excuses a significant portion of the customer's toll charges in the event fraud occurs.
 "Sprint will continue to enhance and expand its CPE security support services to its customers," Fox said. "It is Sprint's intention to remain an industry leader in providing the highest level and quality of CPE security support possible."
 SprintGUARD Plus, first announced in March, is a global security product for Ultra WATS, Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Clarity (private line) international services. It includes security services to identify and monitor potential fraud sources and a contract with Sprint which minimizes financial exposure for its customers if fraud occurs.
 "Telephone toll fraud will not disappear as long as there is an opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to profit unlawfully at the expense of others," Fox said. Since Sprint's security programs alert customers and tell them how to protect their telephone systems, "the vast majority of Sprint customers have secured their CPE, thus making them less vulnerable to CPE fraud."
 The most common CPE toll fraud methods, Fox said, include hackers gaining entry to customer Private Branch Exchanges (PBXs) and voice mail systems. These systems can default to a dial tone, from which the hacker places long distance phone calls. Hackers also work to uncover the PBX Direct Inward System Access (DISA) code, which lets them access the PBX remotely and again obtain a dial tone for unauthorized calling.
 Once DISA codes become available, "call-sell" operators purchase them from hackers and sell calls to the public. These "call-sell" operations commonly operate in apartments and at pay telephone booths in New York and other cities and usually terminate at foreign destinations. The operators are highly transient, relocating every 5-7 days, and difficult to apprehend.
 Sprint is a diversified international telecommunications company with $8.8 billion in annual revenues and the United States' only nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network. Its divisions provide global long distance voice, data and video products and services, and local telephone service to more than 4 million subscriber lines in 17 states.
 -0- 6/11/92
 /CONTACT: Janis Langley, 202-828-7427, or after hours, 703-533-3322, or Vince Hovanec, 202-828-7423, or after hours, 202-387-1496, both of Sprint/
 (FON) CO: Sprint ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU:


MH -- DC013 -- 9222 06/11/92 12:11 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 11, 1992
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