Cingular Wireless

Cingular Wireless LLC is the largest United States mobile phone company, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Cingular operates a network of multiple technologies. The most widely used of these technologies is called Global Systems for Mobile, or GSM. On top of their GSM network they run a data network called GPRS (general packet radio service) and an upgrade for faster speeds called EDGE (enhanced data rates for global evolution). Cingular supports their legacy networks of TDMA and Analog. Former networks include various paging services and the Cingular Interactive division that became Velocita Wireless.


History

Cingular Wireless was formed in 2001 as a joint venture of SBC (now AT&T) and BellSouth. The joint venture created the nations second largest carrier. Cingular grew out of a conglomeration of 11 regional companies. these companies include BellSouth Mobility, BellSouth Mobility DCS, Cellular One, Houston Cellular, BellSouth Wireless Data, Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell, Nevada Bell, Ameritech Cellular, SNET and SBC Wireless. With the exception of Pacific Bell and BellSouth Mobility DCS, the digital network consisted of TDMA Technology. The Pacific Bell and BellSouth Mobility DCS networks used GSM technology on the PCS frequency (1900 Mhz). In 2002 Cingular began an initiative called "Project Genesis" which the code name for the GSM/GPRS overlay of the entire network. Project Genesis was completed by the end of 2004.

AT&T Wireless merger

After a bidding war with Britain's Vodefone PLC, Cingular announced in February, 2004 that they would purchase AT&T Wireless for 41 Billion dollars. The merger was completed on October 16, 2004. The combined company had a customer base of 46 million people which placed Cingular as the largest wireless provider in the United States.

Universal Telephone Service UMTS high-speed network known as "BroadbandConnect", the first to utilize High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSPDA), to counter Verizon's EV-DO network. UMTS was launched on December 6, 2005 in Seattle, Portland, San Fransico, Salt Lake City, San Jose, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore and Washington D.C. Cingular is expected to launch UMTS in all major metropolitan areas by the end of 2006.


The Cingular Wireless logo prior to the acquisition of AT&T Wireless, which is still used in some contexts.


GSM Facilities

In California, Nevada, northern New Jersey and New York City, Cingular and T-Mobile USA maintained and shared a GSM-1900 network prior to the acquisition of AT&T Wireless, through a joint venture known as GSM Facilities. The network sharing agreement allowed Cingular to offer local service in northern New Jersey and New York City and T-Mobile to offer service in California and Nevada. On May 25, 2004, Cingular and T-Mobile USA announced their intention to dissolve the agreement contingent on Cingular's successful acquisition of AT&T Wireless.

First announced on June 23, 2005 Cingular Wireless announced the intention to divest its Caribbean and Bermuda operations and licenses which it acquired from the acquisition of AT&T Wireless, to Bermuda-based Digcel Group under undisclosed financial terms. [1], [2], [3], [4]

Cingular outsources some of their Customer Care to companies in Canada and overseas.

On August 25, Cingular was removed from the New York Better Business Bureau because of a large number of complaints that were not handled in a timely manner. The company is in the process of restructuring its customer care procedures and has appealed the decision.[5] It remains a member of the BBB in other states in which it operates.

In 2004, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported logging more than 14,000 complaints (or 289 per million subscribers) against Cingular Wireless. The most common of which included number portability issues, over billing, poor customer support and network reliability.

Possible Name Change

On 20 November 2005, Ed Whitacre, CEO of the newly-merged SBC/AT&T, announced plans to market the service under the AT&T banner. [6] BellSouth spokesman Jeff Battcher countered that the terms of the joint venture allow either party to sell the service under another name, and that he believes they will be using the brand to market to business customers. [7] Cingular president Stan Sigman concurred with BellSouth's position, indicating that the Cingular brand would continue but be sold under the AT&T brand where offered in packages with other AT&T services, such as data and wireline telephony.

Adelante

Recently, Cingular has launched a new ad campaign "Adelante". In Spanish it means literally "forward". It is aimed at the Hispanic and Spanish speaking communities in the US to boost sales and consists of newspaper ads, commercials, and magazine ads. Also, part of "Adelante" is to now start offering bilingual support at its stores for English and Spanish.

Trivia

  • In 2005, Communications Workers of America, the union which represents over half of Cingular's employees, specifically recognized Cingular for excellence as a union employer, in direct contrast to competitor Verizon, which CWA singled out as an aggressive union-buster.
  • A sales boost is expected following January 2006, when RadioShack (the top wireless retailer in the US) will no longer sell Verizon phones and instead will sell Cingular phones.
  • Cingular Wireless is the wireless carrier of the street racers in Electronic Arts' street racing video games Need for Speed Underground 2 and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. It is used to receive SMS messages from other racers.



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. March 2005 also saw Microsoft partner with the Australian government to teach law enforcement officials how to combat various cyber crimes, including phishing.[20]. Also, part of "Adelante" is to now start offering bilingual support at its stores for English and Spanish. Microsoft hope to use these lawsuits to uncover some of the largest phishing operators. It is aimed at the Hispanic and Spanish speaking communities in the US to boost sales and consists of newspaper ads, commercials, and magazine ads. The lawsuits accuse "John Doe" defendants of using various methods to obtain passwords and confidential information. In Spanish it means literally "forward". District Court for the Western District of Washington.

Recently, Cingular has launched a new ad campaign "Adelante". On March 31, 2005, Microsoft filed 117 federal lawsuits in the U.S. [7] Cingular president Stan Sigman concurred with BellSouth's position, indicating that the Cingular brand would continue but be sold under the AT&T brand where offered in packages with other AT&T services, such as data and wireline telephony. Microsoft has also joined the effort to crack down on phishing. [6] BellSouth spokesman Jeff Battcher countered that the terms of the joint venture allow either party to sell the service under another name, and that he believes they will be using the brand to market to business customers. The federal anti-phishing bill proposes that those criminals who create fake web sites and spam bogus emails in order to defraud consumers could receive a fine up to $250,000 and receive jail terms of up to five years.[19]. On 20 November 2005, Ed Whitacre, CEO of the newly-merged SBC/AT&T, announced plans to market the service under the AT&T banner. In the United States, Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy introduced the Anti-Phishing Act of 2005 on March 1, 2005.

The most common of which included number portability issues, over billing, poor customer support and network reliability. UK authorities jailed two men in June 2005 for their role in a phishing scam [17], in a case connected to the USSS Operation Firewall, which targeted notorious "carder" websites [18]. In 2004, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported logging more than 14,000 complaints (or 289 per million subscribers) against Cingular Wireless. Likewise, authorities later arrested a phishing kingpin, Valdir Paulo de Almeida, for leading one of the largest phishing crime rings, which in 2 years stole between $18 and $37 million USD [16]. The company is in the process of restructuring its customer care procedures and has appealed the decision.[5] It remains a member of the BBB in other states in which it operates. In late March 2005, a 24-year-old Estonian man was arrested for using a backdoor, installed after victims visited his fake website, which included a keylogger that allowed him to monitor users' typing [15]. On August 25, Cingular was removed from the New York Better Business Bureau because of a large number of complaints that were not handled in a timely manner. by tracing and arresting phishers.

Cingular outsources some of their Customer Care to companies in Canada and overseas. Europe and Brazil have both followed the lead of the U.S. [1], [2], [3], [4]. The defendant, a Californian teenager, allegedly created and used a webpage designed to look like the America Online website, so that he could steal credit card numbers[14]. First announced on June 23, 2005 Cingular Wireless announced the intention to divest its Caribbean and Bermuda operations and licenses which it acquired from the acquisition of AT&T Wireless, to Bermuda-based Digcel Group under undisclosed financial terms. On January 26, 2004, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) filed the first lawsuit against a suspected phisher. On May 25, 2004, Cingular and T-Mobile USA announced their intention to dissolve the agreement contingent on Cingular's successful acquisition of AT&T Wireless. The Anti-Phishing Working Group, an industry and law enforcement association, has suggested that conventional phishing techniques could become obsolete in the future as people are increasingly aware of the social engineering techniques used by phishers.[13] They propose that pharming and other uses of malware will become more common tools for stealing information.

The network sharing agreement allowed Cingular to offer local service in northern New Jersey and New York City and T-Mobile to offer service in California and Nevada. Several companies offer banks and other entities likely to suffer from phishing scams 24/7 services of monitoring, analyzing and taking down phishing websites by legal means. In California, Nevada, northern New Jersey and New York City, Cingular and T-Mobile USA maintained and shared a GSM-1900 network prior to the acquisition of AT&T Wireless, through a joint venture known as GSM Facilities. This (and other forms of two-way authentication and two-factor authentication) are still susceptible to attack, such as that suffered by Scandinavian bank Nordea in late 2005[12]. GSM Facilities. Sites have also added verification tools that allow users to see a secret image that the user selected in advance; if the image does not appear, then the site is not legitimate[11].
. Many organizations have introduced a feature called challenge questions, which ask the user for information that should be known only to the user and the bank.


. Spam filters also help protect users from phishers, because they reduce the number of phishing-related emails that users receive. Cingular is expected to launch UMTS in all major metropolitan areas by the end of 2006. The programs work by identifying phishing contents on websites and emails; anti-phishing software may be integrated with web browsers and email clients as a toolbar that displays the real domain name for the visiting website. UMTS was launched on December 6, 2005 in Seattle, Portland, San Fransico, Salt Lake City, San Jose, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore and Washington D.C. Several anti-phishing software programs are available. Universal Telephone Service UMTS high-speed network known as "BroadbandConnect", the first to utilize High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSPDA), to counter Verizon's EV-DO network. Many companies, including eBay and PayPal, always address their customers by their username in emails, so if an email addresses a user in a generic fashion ("Dear valued eBay member") it is likely to be an attempt at phishing.

The combined company had a customer base of 46 million people which placed Cingular as the largest wireless provider in the United States. A user who is contacted about an account needing to be "verified" could either contact the company that is the subject of the email, or could type in a trusted web address for the company's website into the address bar of their browser, to bypass the link in the suspected phishing message. The merger was completed on October 16, 2004. In a June 2004 experiment with spear phishing, 80% of 500 West Point cadets who were sent a fake email were tricked into revealing personal information.[10]. After a bidding war with Britain's Vodefone PLC, Cingular announced in February, 2004 that they would purchase AT&T Wireless for 41 Billion dollars. One newer phishing tactic, which uses phishing emails targeted at a specific company, known as spear phishing, has been harnessed to train users at various locations, including West Point Military Academy. AT&T Wireless merger. One strategy for combating phishing is to train users how to deal with phishing attempts.

Project Genesis was completed by the end of 2004. There are several different techniques to combat phishing, including legislation and technology created specifically to target phishing. In 2002 Cingular began an initiative called "Project Genesis" which the code name for the GSM/GPRS overlay of the entire network. In March 2005, the amount of money lost in the UK was approximately £12 million GBP.[9]. The Pacific Bell and BellSouth Mobility DCS networks used GSM technology on the PCS frequency (1900 Mhz). businesses lose an estimated $2 billion USD a year as their clients become victims.[8] The United Kingdom also suffers from the immense increase in phishing. With the exception of Pacific Bell and BellSouth Mobility DCS, the digital network consisted of TDMA Technology. U.S.

these companies include BellSouth Mobility, BellSouth Mobility DCS, Cellular One, Houston Cellular, BellSouth Wireless Data, Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell, Nevada Bell, Ameritech Cellular, SNET and SBC Wireless. It is estimated that between May 2004 and May 2005, approximately 1.2 million computer users in the United States suffered losses caused by phishing, totaling approximately $929 million USD. Cingular grew out of a conglomeration of 11 regional companies. Once this information is acquired, the phishers may use a person's details to create fake accounts in a victim's name, ruin a victim's credit, or even prevent victims from accessing their own accounts. The joint venture created the nations second largest carrier. This style of identity theft is becoming more popular, because of the ease with which unsuspecting people often divulge personal information to phishers, including credit card numbers and social security numbers. Cingular Wireless was formed in 2001 as a joint venture of SBC (now AT&T) and BellSouth. The damage caused by phishing ranges from loss of access to email to substantial financial loss.

. Despite the publicity surrounding the flaw, known as IDN spoofing[6] or a homograph attack[7], no known phishing attacks have yet taken advantage of it.
. A further problem with URLs has been found in the handling of Internationalized domain names (IDN) in web browsers, that might allow visually identical web addresses to lead to different, possibly malicious, websites. Former networks include various paging services and the Cingular Interactive division that became Velocita Wireless. In this attack method (known as Cross Site Scripting) users may receive a message saying that they have to "verify" their account, by following a link to what appears to be an authentic website; in reality, the link is crafted to carry out this attack, although it is very difficult to spot without specialist knowledge. Cingular supports their legacy networks of TDMA and Analog. These types of attacks are particularly problematic, because they direct the user to sign in at their bank or service's own web pages, where everything from the web address to the security certificates appears correct.

On top of their GSM network they run a data network called GPRS (general packet radio service) and an upgrade for faster speeds called EDGE (enhanced data rates for global evolution). In another popular method of phishing, an attacker uses a bank or service's own scripts against the victim. The most widely used of these technologies is called Global Systems for Mobile, or GSM. This is done either by placing a picture of the legitimate entity's URL over the address bar, or by closing the original address bar and opening a new one containing the legitimate URL. Cingular operates a network of multiple technologies. Some phishing scams use javascript commands in order to obfuscate the address bar. Cingular Wireless LLC is the largest United States mobile phone company, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. This method has since been closed off in the Mozilla[4] and Internet Explorer[5] web browsers, while Opera provides a warning message and the option not to follow the link.

It is used to receive SMS messages from other racers. For example, the link http://www.google.com@members.tripod.com/ may deceive a casual observer into believing that the link will open a page on www.google.com, whereas the link actually directs the browser to a page on members.tripod.com, using a username of www.google.com; were there no such user, the page would open normally. Cingular Wireless is the wireless carrier of the street racers in Electronic Arts' street racing video games Need for Speed Underground 2 and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. One other method of spoofing links used web addresses containing the @ symbol, which were used to include a username and password in a web URL (contrary to the standard[3]). A sales boost is expected following January 2006, when RadioShack (the top wireless retailer in the US) will no longer sell Verizon phones and instead will sell Cingular phones. Misspelled URLs or the use of subdomains are common tricks used by phishers, such as this example URL, http://www.yourbank.com.example.com/. In 2005, Communications Workers of America, the union which represents over half of Cingular's employees, specifically recognized Cingular for excellence as a union employer, in direct contrast to competitor Verizon, which CWA singled out as an aggressive union-buster. Most methods of phishing use some form of technical deception designed to make a link in an email appear to belong to the spoofed organization.

In this second example, targeted at SouthTrust Bank users, the phisher has used an image to make it harder for anti-phishing scanners to detect by scanning for text commonly used in phishing emails. In an example PayPal phish (right), spelling mistakes in the email ("no choise but to temporaly suspend your account"), and the presence of an IP address in the link visible in the tooltip under the yellow box ("Click here to verify your account") are both clues that this is a phishing attempt. In general such targeted versions of phishing have been termed spear phishing. While the first such examples were sent indiscriminately in the hope of finding a customer of a given bank or service, recent research has shown that phishers may in principle be able to establish what bank a potential victim has a relationship with, and then send an appropriate spoofed email to this victim[2].

More recent phishing attempts have started to target the customers of banks and online payment services. The shutting down of the warez scene on AOL caused most phishers to leave the service, and many phishers — often young teens in their heyday — grew out of the habit. Phishers temporarily moved to AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), since they could not be banned from the AIM server. AOL simultaneously developed a system to quickly deactivate any account involved in phishing, often before their phishes (a term for the victims of a "phish") could respond.

Around the same time phishing was so prevalent on AOL that they added a line on all instant messages stating, "no one working at AOL will ask for your password or billing information". In 1997, AOL's policy enforcement with respect to phishing and warez became stricter and forced pirated software off AOL servers. Both phishing and warezing on AOL generally required custom-written programs, such as the colorfully named AOHell. Once the victim had submitted his or her password, the attacker could then access the victim's account and use it for various criminal purposes, such as spamming.

In order to lure the victim into giving up sensitive information the message might include text such as "verify your account" or "confirm billing information". A cracker might pose as an AOL staff member and send an instant message to a potential victim, asking the victim to reveal his or her password[1]. Phishing on AOL was closely associated with the warez community that exchanged pirated software. AOL eventually brought in measures in late 1995 to prevent this, so early AOL crackers resorted to phishing for legitimate AOL accounts.

Those who would later phish on AOL during the 1990s originally created accounts on AOL with fake, algorithmically generated credit card numbers — these accounts could last weeks or even months until new ones were required. The term phishing was coined by crackers attempting to "fish" for accounts from unsuspecting AOL members; ph is a common hacker replacement for f, and is a nod to an older form of hacking known as "phone phreaking.". The first recorded mention of phishing is on the alt.2600 hacker newsgroup in January 1996, although the term may have appeared even earlier in the printed edition of the hacker newsletter "2600 Magazine". .

Attempts include legislation, user training, and technical measures. With the growing number of reported phishing incidents, additional methods of protection are needed. The term phishing arises from the use of increasingly sophisticated lures to "fish" for users' financial information and passwords. In computing, phishing is a form of social engineering, characterized by attempts to fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy person or business in an apparently official electronic communication, such as an email or an instant message.

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