STIR/SHAKEN Explained

STIR/SHAKEN has been in the news as the FCC takes a more aggressive posture to prevent the abuse and scams impacting the public. But just what is STIR/SHAKEN? To put it in plain English, STIR/SHAKEN is a technology used to combat robocalls, which are automated phone calls that are often used for scams or spam. STIR stands for Secure Telephone Identity Revisited, and SHAKEN stands for Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs.

The technology works by creating a digital signature for each phone call that is made. This signature can be used to verify that the call is coming from a legitimate source and has not been tampered with. When a call is made, the signature is checked against a database to ensure that it is valid. If the signature is not valid, the call may be blocked or flagged as a potential robocall.

This technology is needed because robocalls have become a major problem in recent years, with millions of unwanted calls being made each day. These calls can be disruptive and can also be used to scam or defraud people. STIR/SHAKEN helps to combat this problem by making it more difficult for robocallers to disguise their calls and by making it easier for phone companies to identify and block unwanted calls.

Will we see the end of call abuse due to STIR/SHAKEN?  We likely won’t. But we are seeing a reduction in the number of calls, and as the FCC continues to take action, maybe the phone won’t ring as often, and people will go back to answering their phones.

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