Politics: Feds Teaming Up with Hackers

The Federal Trade Commission is working with hackers to build “honeypots” that will stop robocallers. Honeypots are essentially information systems that collect information, but the operations and designs are completely up to hackers. “Rachel” is the most common robocall bot in the US, and the “Zapping Rachel” competition is offering $17,000 to hackers who can build a honeypot, attack a honeypot, and analyze the data collected on robocalls. Although robocalls to cell phones and the federal Do Not Call registry are illegal, they have become increasingly prevalent as the Internet continues to mature. In 2013 the FTC received 3.75 million complaints for violations of the registry, which has prompted the feds to work with a community of hackers and stretch the bounds of legality.

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