How a politician dialling your phone number can take you for a ride

First Published 23, Apr 2019, 5:14 PM IST
audio podcast
How a politician dialling your phone number can take you for a ride
Highlights

According to experts, political parties are calling voters in different constituencies from the respective candidate's phone number. However, these calls are actually not made by the candidate but from the techies of rival parties.
 

New Delhi: This election season political parties are not only trying their hands at the latest technology to reach out to the voters but are also misusing the internet to malign their rivals’ image.

The political promotion machinery is working day and night to push their candidates’ message and achievements to their voters. However, the recent turn of events also shows that in this cut-throat competition, political parties are misusing technology and trying to influence voters.

According to the experts, political parties are calling voters in different constituencies from the respective candidate's phone number. However, these calls are actually not made by the candidate but by the techies of rival parties.

Also read: Actor Parvathy waits for an hour to vote; spends time reading book

Through internet telephony or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) anyone can make a call from the internet and change the caller identity, which enables to display anyone’s number on recipients’ mobile.

The Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) state president Jayant Patil became the latest victim of such technology. He has alleged that people in his constituency – Sangli, Maharashtra — had received calls from his mobile number asking to help his political rival Gopichand Padalkar of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi. His own party workers also received a similar kind of phone call.

Though the police are investigating the matter, experts claim that it is a clear case of misuse of VoIP calls.

According to cyber experts, there are many VoIP providers which provide free and paid calling service with mobile applications.

These service providers also have the facility to change caller identity. It enables the caller to display any number on the recipients’ mobile phone. The catch is that it is also difficult to track such callers because the servers of such internet telephony service providers are located outside the country’s geographic boundaries.

“VoIP or virtual calling services can be used in the election to trick opposition parties and pass on misleading information. I won’t be surprised when people would also use some spy applications which can silently head and read calls and messages during elections to monitor their rivals,” said Maharashtra-based independent cyber security expert, Rahul D Kankrale.

Kankrale advises people to immediately inform the nearest police station or report the matter to www.cybercrime.gov.in.

This is the same technology which is used widely by the marketing firms to push their sales. Unwanted sales callers are using VoIP technology to make these calls instead of using a traditional telephone line. This allows them to imitate a different phone number every time and bypass spam identification networks.

Recently law enforcement agencies found that VoIP technology was also being used in making several threat calls and demanding ransom. Shockingly, security agencies still find it difficult to track calls over VoIP even after nearly 11 years of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in which Lashkar-e-Taiba conspirators, sitting in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, used VoIP services to communicate with 10 terrorists.

loader