You are here

RoboKiller “kills” at DEF CON

Share this page

For the second year in a row, the FTC traveled to DEF CON, an annual hacker conference, to enlist tech gurus to help fight robocalls. This year, the FTC hosted Robocalls: Humanity Strikes Back, which challenged contestants to create tools people could use to block and forward robocalls automatically. Forwarded calls go to a honeypot — a data collection system that researchers and investigators can use to study the calls.

Contest winners at DEF CON

Contest Winners Ethan Garr and Bryan Moyles at DEF CON 23

Today, the FTC announced the results of the contest. Ethan Garr and Bryan Moyles will receive the top prize of $25,000 for their solution, RoboKiller, which relies on call forwarding and works on both landline and mobile phones. RoboKiller gives people greater control over how and when they receive calls by sending robocalls to a SpamBox and using personal filtering lists. Runner-up Hemant Sengar applied similar audio analytics in his solution and will receive a $10,500 prize.

The FTC also announced the winners of DetectaRobo, a contest that asked participants to develop an algorithm that could predict which calls were likely to be robocalls. Team HaV was named Champion RoboSleuth, and the runners-up, Team Milibo and Team RDAC, were each named Master RoboSleuth.

Both contests are part of the FTC’s larger efforts to combat illegal robocalls, a problem that has grown worse since advances in technology have made it easy for robocallers to send out thousands of calls every minute and to display fake caller ID information.


Count me in, they cost US money to send us junk...or spam!!

Good hope these stop all those political robocalls

I find, from my Caller ID, that identifying a call as a Robocall is not that difficult. The record I kept (over the years) evidences that, with few exceptions, 99% of Robocalls display as originating from a city and state. Albeit the city and state vary, it is always a Robocall. I maintain that the only way to end Robocalls is to develop means of tracing the calls. I do volunteer to have my phone equipped for tracing. Until a means for tracing Robocalls is developed, they will continue.

In my locale they are using local numbers to make the robocalls. Had a lady yesterday call me to ask why I called her. My phone number showed oh her caller ID and I assured her I had not called. Her daughter called and asked the same question and I explained the callers are spammers using local numbers to call through.

instead of running your mouth with stuff you don't understand, why not first read the article more carefully and then study how the phone system works so your don't sound like an idiot. 1)tracing the call doesn't matter, many originate from out side of the US and we arnt about to start wars over robocalls 2) the number is totally arbitrary, they can make ur caller id show any number they Want. if they wanted to they could call your cell phone and display your home number

Great news hate the robocalls about carpet cleaning, I have bamboo flooring throughout the house. Also the contractor calls saying they are in my neighborhood with a Florida number.

Great devices. When and where will they be made available to consumers?

Why doesn't the government require phone companies to override the caller-id info with the real info? Legitimate companies could register with the phone company and have their name added to the caller-id. Any number not registered would come up as unknown and blocked calls would show that status.

The phone companies get the billing correct, why not the caller-id? They know what phone is making a call. Take the ability to spoof the ID away from the callers.

I've received robocalls that DO list a name & calling number: MINE, Anything the government or private sector companies "invent" begins 1-step behind hackers, & computer wizards. Heck, Robocalls were probably invented by a teenager who was bored!


Appreciate your hard work FTC

How do we get it and is it free?

The contest winners have the intellectual property rights to their solutions.  They will decide what to do with the solutions. The press release explains more.

Is this app available now? I'd LOVE to have it!

Bravo!!! To the developers of RoboKiller. My only question: where can I purchase this app???

Thanks to these young people for their work to make life less of a hassle for all of us.

Good work !!

I want this! When and where can I get it?

I have gotten robocalls from one company almost every day for about a year. Sometimes five times a day. (Card Holder Services).I could certainly use such a device.

Robocalls arrive 4-5 times daily. Usually its Ann from Cardholders or Philip White who will be in my neighborhood Thursday and Friday and offers me a security system. Installation is free,etc., I usually just hang up on both of these bothersome phone calls, since by now I know what they are pitching.

Can i get this app?, and make it produces a high pitched scream on their system. Like a form of a stun gun. They make our lives miserable, so why not have a first class seat to watch them writhe. Watch it disable their system, and the electrical tone over the connection would be enjoyable.

This app is absolutely horrible! It thinks all hospital numbers are spam and answers with the stupid messages. I deleted my subscription and tried to deactivate the app from my phone at least 20 times already with no luck!! I am at the hospital with my mom who is getting major surgery and the surgeons cannot keep in contact with me because of this stupid app!!!! And of course NOBODY answers your emails and there is no number to call!! DO NOT DOWNLOAD THIS APP TO YOUR PHONE!!!

I signed up for Robo call free trial
I received to robo calls today, so I cancelled
Not sure how many are suppose to get thru
I had a few with the same number not in my phone book?

Leave a Comment