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What is Caller ID Spoofing?

Caller ID is a service provided by most telephone companies (for a monthly cost) which will tell you the number / name of an incoming call. Spoofing Caller ID is the art of changing what the receipent sees on the call display terminal to that of the originating individuals choosing.

What is ANI?

Automatic Number Identification is a system used by the telephone company to determine the number of the calling party. There are believed to be two types, "FLEX ANI" (used for e.g. verification services such as voicemail) which is relatively easy to spoof, and "Real Time ANI" (used only for billing purposes on e.g. 800 numbers) which is harder to spoof.

What is ANI / Caller ID spoofing?

ANI / Caller ID spoofing is setting the ANI / Caller ID on the outgoing call you are making to a 10 digit number of your own choosing. Traditionally it has been a complicated process either requiring the assistance of a cooperative phone company operator or an expensive company PBX system.

What is Automated ANI / Caller ID spoofing?

Automated ANI / Caller ID spoofing is setting the number you are calling from without the use of an operator / company PBX system. By far the easiest method thanks to the increasing take-up of internet telephony services are VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service providers who allow you when using their service to set whatever caller ID you like (which is also used as ANI).

Is international calling / spoofing possible?

Yes, a number of companies such as Spooftel offer the ability to call international numbers.

Is it legal?

It appears to be perfectly legal, as long as it is not used for fraudulent purposes.

What are the security implications of ANI / Caller ID spoofing?

Most of those relying on it do not realise how easy it is to spoof. Automated / manual verification systems such as used by credit card companies can be sent false information. Identity spoofing e.g. someone calls the mobile phone of a prominent employee in a company spoofing the caller id of a fellow worked who is in their address book. The name of the fellow worker shows up on the target's phone screen, and due to the limited bandwidth (reduced quality) of calls over the cellular / mobile network the target does not realise (would you question the identity of a colleague?) who they are actually talking to. Most mobile / cellular phone providers offer an answer phone service which can be set to not require a pin when calling from the phone its self. Some of these services verify using ANI and can therefore be accessed by anyone spoofing the phones own number when calling the message centre.