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Telephony denial-of-service (TDoS) attacks, which affect the availability and readiness of call centers, are hitting critical first-responder facilities, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). A TDoS attack is designed to prevent incoming and outgoing calls, by flooding a target with junk calls. “The objective is to keep the distraction calls active for as long as possible to overwhelm the victim’s telephone system, which may delay or block legitimate calls for service,” according to a recent announcement from the FBI. Worryingly, TDoS attacks have been hitting Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), which are call centers responsible for connecting callers to emergency services, such as police, firefighting or ambulance services. “PSAPs represent key infrastructure that enables emergency responders to identify and respond to critical events affecting the public,” according to the FBI. “The resulting increase in time for emergency services to respond may have dire consequences, including loss of life.” The FBI also warned that TDoS attacks could be used in conjunction with a physical attack, when calls to 911 and other emergency numbers would crest. How TDoS Attacks Work TDoS attacks can be manual or automated, according to the FBI. In the case of the former, adversaries typically use social networks to encourage individuals to flood a particular number with a calling campaign. An automated TDoS attack on the other hand uses VoIP software and session…

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