Telia warns about modem hijackers

Telia is recommending customers surfing on the Internet with a dial-up modem connection to protect themselves against modem hijackers, who are creating havoc on the Web. In the worst case, getting your modem hijacked can cost thousands of kronor. The "Telia Kod" service in Sweden, which is free of charge, provides 100 percent protection for customers calling with a Telia subscription.
Despite receiving much attention in newspapers and being featured in many reports on radio and television, the modem hijacking problem continues. Thousands of Swedish households are getting their dial-up modem connection hijacked to foreign countries and many customers do not start to do something about their protection until it is too late.
"We are constantly working on stopping modem hijackers," says Ralph Arnestig, head of TeliaSonera's customer relations unit. "For example, we shut down phone traffic to the Diego Garcia islands on March 2. After that, we blocked certain numbers and number series to Liechtenstein, the Tuvalu Islands and the Cook Islands, as well as certain satellite numbers. However, there is no better protection for Telia customers than to order the Telia Kod service from our customer service unit."
Several pages on the Internet use pop-up ads to invite customers to click on links to different services, such as to download ring tones for their mobile phone. Although warnings are displayed on a number of these pages, many customers miss reading the information. The warning usually states that if you decide to click on the link, you are authorizing a new connection to a number that goes to places like Tuvalu, the Cook Islands or Liechtenstein. The computer's ordinary long distance line is disconnected and reconnected to another one and can stay changed until the user changes it back to the regular line. Calls to Tuvalu and the Cook Islands cost SEK 10.95/minute.
In Sweden, Telia offers household customers effective protection against modem hijacking with Telia Kod. With this service, customers can block their phones for toll calls (0900, 0939 and 0944 numbers) and for calls to countries outside the Nordic region. Using a personal code, customers can unblock their telephone subscription when they want to make a call that is blocked.
Ralph Arnestig, Head of Customer Relations, TeliaSonera Sweden,
phone +46 8 713 58 30.
Hans G. Larsson, Press Manager, Consumer Segment, TeliaSonera Sweden,
phone + 46 8 713 58 30.
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