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Im not exactly sure where to post this but any information would be extremely helpful.

Im currently in a PSC hearing with my ISP over speeds, security, spam calls & personal information theft.

My ISP says their product can protect and help stop spam calls, identity and personal information theft and much more. They basically stated that any issues we have with both internet and phone security could have been stopped by their software. They have also tried to force it upon us multiple times as well as suggested heavily in a hearing that their software is superior to Malwarebytes.

All I know is when I had their software years ago, all 3 of the house computers got ransomware and had to be reset or new hard drives. A total loss of all data and all 3 people had personal attacks on their banking, identity and abuse of their personal information of various sorts. Since we switched we have had 0 issues over the past years. The company even had 2 techs tell me that there is no way their service is better than Malwarebytes, they use it themselves "but of course we have to push our own product"

The company is Frontier Communications.

Ive reached out in many ways to Malwarebytes for a general response, statement or any information on a comparison or how to go about doing this myself. Such has does their statement about stopping all forms of scam, spam and theft even possible? How could one gauge which product offers the best protection? 

If anyone could help shed some light on the issues it would be Greatly appreciated! Im not looking to drag MB into this but a general statement or information I could obtain and use on my own would be helpful. 

TIA.

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Greetings,

Unfortunately I know of no way to truly, legally prove that any security product is superior to any other.  Any test that might be designed to measure products against one another would be inherently flawed in that there is no way to truly accurately replicate all of the potential threats, scams and exploits online at any given moment.  With that said, Malwarebytes does have an excellent reputation, and as the techs themselves indicated to you, they even believe that Malwarebytes is the superior product, however I have never heard of any sort of court case or legal precedent which ever proved that any security product was truly superior to another, especially since the possibility may always exist that there is at least one threat detected by the so-called 'inferior' product which the other 'superior' product just happens not to detect.  With that said, at least with regards to your own peace of mind, I will say that Malwarebytes' performance throughout the time that you have used it should at least provide some level of assurance that it is at least an adequate product in that it has apparently prevented your systems from becoming infected in all the time you have been using it, but beyond that I really don't know what else can be claimed.

A great example of why this is so difficult would be the numerous AV comparison tests that exist which are supposed to indicate which products are superior based on how they do against the threats that they are all pitted against, and while you will often find a very short list of products at or near the top consistently, I can say with certainty that I have seen users of every single one of those products infected at one time or another, so even such standardized testing is no guarantee of protection, and obviously if any single product were able to protect against every threat 100% of the time, and especially if it could be proven that this was true then it would certainly be the only product anyone would use, or at the very least would be far more popular than any other, yet that is definitely not how the security product landscape is.

The reality is that getting infected is always a possibility no matter how good your protection (including Malwarebytes), and while using good protection will certainly help to decrease your chances of becoming infected, other measures should also be taken including keeping your system and software up to date, staying away from high risk websites and online activities, and practicing good common sense with regards to what you click or download online (many refer to this as 'practicing safe hex'; a play on words as hex is a term used in computing).  In fact, we have many customers who run Malwarebytes Premium alongside an active third party AV just to increase their protection, as Malwarebytes is engineered to be run alongside third party security tools, including traditional antivirus products.

I am sorry that I cannot offer anything more concrete, but I hope I have at least helped to clarify things a bit.

Edited by exile360

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@exile360 Thank you very much for that detailed response! I completely agree with your break down. Perhaps in my haste I could have been a little more detailed.

The lady stated that if we used their virus software it would cut down or stop robo & spam calls and then used a blanket statement of " could have protected our personal information more so than other companies". Unless I misread what you said, that's able to be proved and personal opinion is highly unlikely given the 2 companies in question.  Then she boiled it down to they could offer better overall protection than other companies because they are the provider of said protection. In theory I could see they may have a higher possibility but at the same time I don't because all the info they would have(name, address, billing info) so would MBs... the only thing that would be a difference would be, MB doesn't protect my phone line. Then again her argument wasn't really dedicated to just protecting our phone line from spam, it was more if we protect you online that will dampen the effects of spam seen in your phone.

I hope that makes a bit more sense. Basically the argument isn't VP its more, we can protect your overall & your phone from spam if you had our VP versus other options. 

Also side note, after testing this..there was no change in anything and their VP saw MBS as a virus and clashed.

Is there any merit to their claim other then theory/ seems legit style logic? Is there any currently know way or service that claims(or can) slow or stop spam phone calls? Would you know anything on the subject of "highjacked routers/ lines" meaning if someone somehow gained access to our router or the phone line our internet is run through? 

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I will chime in a bit. Protection on the computer has nothing to do with the phone calls (robo etc.)

Email spam is reduced by not giving out you address to every site that asks for it. Also if a company you do business sells your address and then the next person sells is and so on, You will get tons of spam.

If a database containing you email address is breached then it is even worse. You can check your email and even passwords to see if they have been breached here. https://haveibeenpwned.com/

25 minutes ago, Dodgercivic said:

and their VP saw MBS as a virus and clashed.

Frontier uses Frontier Multi-Device Security is a security solution based on F-Secure SAFE and F-secure has at least in the past had issues running with Malwarebytes.

I recommend my clients to use Windows Defender if on Windows 10 and Malwarebytes Premium. I also recommend Chrome or Firefox to browse and install both the Malwarebytes browser guard and Ublock Origin in those browsers to block scam sites and advertisements.

 

Edited by Porthos

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1 hour ago, Porthos said:

I recommend my clients to use Windows Defender if on Windows 10 and Malwarebytes Premium. I also recommend Chrome or Firefox to browse and install both the Malwarebytes browser guard and Ublock Origin in those browsers to block scam sites and advertisements.

I agree very much with this sentiment.  Windows Defender (or Microsoft Security Essentials if you're running WIndows Vista or Windows 7) and Malwarebytes are an excellent combination, and as you can probably tell based on my signature, I'm a big fan of Malwarebytes Browser Guard (and I too use uBlock Origin along with a few other browser add-ons like HTTPS Everywhere and Ghostery).

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@Porthos Thank you for your response. Im aware of the way email addresses are sold continuously and of the website. Last I checked it said my main email was found 4 times. After learning this I switched emails for all important things. I do not use my cell/mobile for anything. I do now have W10 and use defender & MB. Ive divided my PCs for specific uses.

1- Nothing but gaming and only steam account, 2nd is for my ebay, a very select amount of shopping(mainly firearm sites but never used amazon) 3rd is basically a burner laptop. The only places I have ever given my email or more personal info to is the sites that require it for shipping purposes so I don't sign up for newsletters or anything. Im no where near being better then an educated amateur when it comes to being a "ghost" or invisible online but I surely don't sign up for things. I also go far out of my way to avoid giving personal information online to any website and was even hesitant when signing up for this forum but figured its MB so Im more safe then PH.

The main issue here is my ISP & phone provider is saying that their VP style services can do things that no service currently can offer such as stop robo calls and people that do that type of stuff from finding our information & using it. They state they can stop, catch and interrupt these people and most malicious acts and because of this they are superior in protection over what I currently have( W defender & MB). 

Im trying to find a simple way to explain in a hearing how their claim is not at all accurate. They are trying to force me to use their service which allows them anytime remote access into my PC for checks and monitoring. They claim they if I had their service and used it a majority of robo/spam calls would be lessoned or stopped and the same thing when it comes to the use/attempts at our identity including email spam ect. I would post the case file & copies but until its considered ruled on Im not legally allowed to 

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1 hour ago, Dodgercivic said:

They are trying to force me to use their service which allows them anytime remote access into my PC for checks and monitoring. They claim they if I had their service and used it a majority of robo/spam calls would be lessoned or stopped

Setting up any of this on your computer does NOTHING for the junk calls you get on the phone.

 

1 hour ago, Dodgercivic said:

They are trying to force me to use their service which allows them anytime remote access into my PC for checks and monitoring.

This is called a MSP. Managed service provider. I have similar on almost 350 of my clients.  I do not use the AV part of my setup. I rely on Defender and Malwarebytes on each of my clients computers.

With the habits you mentioned you are in a good position to be protected on the computer itself. As for email spam you will truly never be rid of it. You phone is a separate issue. Is this your landline or a cell phone?

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I just thought I'd add that in addition to what others have already mentioned regarding spam calls and the like, I sincerely doubt there is much your ISP can do to protect you from such calls as they are bound by the same restrictions as the security apps you might install on your phone for this purpose and they have no 'special access' to prevent/filter such calls on their end.  The reality is that any time you provide your phone number to any company (including companies/retailers where you conduct business in person; i.e. those places where they ask for things like your name, address, phone number, email etc. at checkout), it is VERY likely that you will eventually receive a slew of fresh spam calls either from them, companies affiliated with them, or third parties that they have provided your information to for their own profit (you'd be shocked if you knew just how common it was for 'reputable' companies to trade/sell customer information to others at the drop of a hat for the sake of profits as well as trading for the customer lists those other companies might have in order to expand their own data set for their own marketing purposes).

Spoiler

 

It is an ugly business, and these days your best bet is to simply not give your info to anyone if you can help it unless they are individuals (not employees or representatives of companies, but actual friends and family members that you are providing the info to for personal contact only with the understanding that they WILL NOT share it with any third parties, especially any businesses they might be conducting business with (this makes getting a personal loan from anyone except  your own bank VERY difficult as they all want multiple contacts from you for friends and family members, both to track you down should you fail to pay, as well as to advertise to them and use their contact info as a commodity to share and trade with other companies, subsidiaries and affiliates).

Big data is big business, and this is why I have an old flip phone (no data plan, texting/calling only, no internet access whatsoever, no apps/no app store) and why I have my default ringtone set to 'silent' with no vibration or alert sounds and set a custom ringtone for anyone in my contacts list for incoming calls from them as well as alerts of texts from them so that if anyone I do not know attempts to contact me, I am not disturbed and I can screen their calls by checking my voicemail (you'll often find that those who actually have a valid reason to contact you will leave some kind of message identifying themselves, especially if they know you don't have their number already and businesses/spammers/auto-dialers will usually either hang up before then or their messages will simply go unanswered as you'll quickly be able to identify anyone you know and businesses are generally pretty obvious in the messages they leave when they actually choose to do so).

I also do not use any sort of name for my email addresses.  It is a semi-random string of letters and numbers which I will never forget because they have personal meaning to me (nothing anyone would actually find useful or be able to find out such as my birthday or anyone else's birthday or anything like that; to anyone who doesn't know me REALLY WELL they would never know me by my email addresses) this way spammers that simply use dictionary attacks and common names etc. to send out mass spam 'guessing' at possible email addresses/recipients will fail to hit mine so it's that much less spam in my inbox.  I also use a single email address for 'junk' like signing up for services, forums and the like where I know the company is likely to share my info and/or send me marketing materials so that all of my personal and work emails are kept separate from all the junk.

This is how I have been doing things for years and my life has been quite peaceful and relatively free of spam and advertising communications and that's the way I like it.  I cancelled my cable TV years ago because I got sick of the constant commercials (especially ads for other shows DURING the shows I was actually watching; one of the worst things networks started doing in my opinion) and get all of my content from the likes of Amazon and Netflix (if I like a show/movie enough to pay for it specifically I just buy it on Amazon or Vudu; I won't touch Hulu because of the ads, nor will I pay for a single provider/studio/network's content (no CBS, no Disney+ etc.) because their libraries are far too limited and small to justify their inflated pricing (even Disney who own virtually everything these days).  I use a good set of ad blockers, tracking/privacy add-ons and malware blocking tools so I don't see any ads anywhere online at all, and while I understand that Marketers must eat too, I won't be buying their lunch with my eyeballs, sorry; I wouldn't have bought/clicked on anything anyway just based on the pure principle of the matter (I will generally avoid making a purchase if the advertising for it has annoyed me, that's how seriously I take this stuff; more extreme than most I'm sure, but I prefer not to encourage them).

 

I added some additional thoughts and details in the spoiler tags above; I didn't want to sidetrack the thread too much, but you might find it useful if you wish to go beyond the specific focus of this thread.

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@Porthos   

@exile360

I apologize for the disappearance but this was found by their lawyer and he brought up that this violates a part where nothing can be disclosed until after and it has taken awhile for the back and forth to state I was in the clear and this counts as research.

As it stands the company wants to dismiss it all and is heavily claiming to our public service committee that their virus/security software can help protect and lessen the amount of spam calls if we had used it and that it maybe already to late even if we did use it before hand. Given the limit jurisdiction of the court we will most likely have to go other avenues because this court is no permitted to rule on internet or anything spam call related which is only 40-50% of our claims. One of our arguments is they failed to protect our information because people are using our name and number to call and harass people.

Im doing my best to research as much as possible on the topic and will continue to do so. Its such a complex issue given the amount of variables/options hackers can use and how testing which is better is impossible but I know that their are cases of people being exploited and companies have no clue, don't want a clue or can do nothing about it so they keep quite on it. 

The long story short of all this is, we have never gotten the speeds we pay for and they had us upgrade multiple times which included new routers and other equipment. Since those upgrades occurred we started to notice a connection between cuts & extremely slow internet speeds and activity on our phone line. We now have long periods where our phone is in use but not by us and we cannot dial out. THis has happened for over 2+ years now. The consistent amount of coincidences with the phone and internet show that they are linked somehow especially standing out how this all stops for a good period of time whenever we get a new router installed. Since then we have had attacks out our identities, online accounts and get at least 2-5 people per week calling us threating to stop calling, they are reporting us, calling the cops and more. 

Its hard to explain without writing a detailed book of events. I know a good deal about robo/spam calls but to the point its reached is unbearable. The net will cut out, then shortly after our phone line will go and we cannot call out. Then other times the net speed will suddenly die to 1 or 2 MBS and our phone will ring non stop almost as if we are being used to robo call and its coming through on our line. Also If Im on the phone for long periods of time I can hear someone pick up like they are on the only other phone in the house, then when they hear me and hang up it disconnects our call completely and a large rash of spam calls to our house follows within 1-3 hours after.

I am the only person in our house that uses a computer and I am extremely cautious! No porn, no sketchy sites and very little to no online orders. What few orders I make are from the same 4 places, never amazon or likewise sites.

 

I do appreciate you guys chiming in with information and helping out. I would like to make this thread as open as possible to retain as much info, similar stories or anything that will help me learn more on this topic. I know we will most likely be going back after this company in another court that has more "jurisdiction" than the current one and I know they will bring up the same things against our particular complaint. 

 

Thanks guys. Anything else that can help or I should look for is always greatly appreciated

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You might find the information in this thread to be of use to you given some of the symptoms you describe, particularly with your internet and phone, as the user in that thread was experiencing some similar issues and it turned out to be due to the fact that his ISP failed to install a MOCA filter on his router which caused his neighbor's connection to overlap with his own.  The fact that it stops temporarily whenever you get a new router.  Please be sure to check and make sure that your ISP did install a MOCA filter, otherwise you likely will have problems with your connections.

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16 hours ago, Dodgercivic said:

@Porthos   

@exile360

I apologize for the disappearance but this was found by their lawyer and he brought up that this violates a part where nothing can be disclosed until after and it has taken awhile for the back and forth to state I was in the clear and this counts as research.

As it stands the company wants to dismiss it all and is heavily claiming to our public service committee that their virus/security software can help protect and lessen the amount of spam calls if we had used it and that it maybe already to late even if we did use it before hand. Given the limit jurisdiction of the court we will most likely have to go other avenues because this court is no permitted to rule on internet or anything spam call related which is only 40-50% of our claims. One of our arguments is they failed to protect our information because people are using our name and number to call and harass people.

Im doing my best to research as much as possible on the topic and will continue to do so. Its such a complex issue given the amount of variables/options hackers can use and how testing which is better is impossible but I know that their are cases of people being exploited and companies have no clue, don't want a clue or can do nothing about it so they keep quite on it. 

The long story short of all this is, we have never gotten the speeds we pay for and they had us upgrade multiple times which included new routers and other equipment. Since those upgrades occurred we started to notice a connection between cuts & extremely slow internet speeds and activity on our phone line. We now have long periods where our phone is in use but not by us and we cannot dial out. THis has happened for over 2+ years now. The consistent amount of coincidences with the phone and internet show that they are linked somehow especially standing out how this all stops for a good period of time whenever we get a new router installed. Since then we have had attacks out our identities, online accounts and get at least 2-5 people per week calling us threating to stop calling, they are reporting us, calling the cops and more. 

Its hard to explain without writing a detailed book of events. I know a good deal about robo/spam calls but to the point its reached is unbearable. The net will cut out, then shortly after our phone line will go and we cannot call out. Then other times the net speed will suddenly die to 1 or 2 MBS and our phone will ring non stop almost as if we are being used to robo call and its coming through on our line. Also If Im on the phone for long periods of time I can hear someone pick up like they are on the only other phone in the house, then when they hear me and hang up it disconnects our call completely and a large rash of spam calls to our house follows within 1-3 hours after.

I am the only person in our house that uses a computer and I am extremely cautious! No porn, no sketchy sites and very little to no online orders. What few orders I make are from the same 4 places, never amazon or likewise sites.

 

I do appreciate you guys chiming in with information and helping out. I would like to make this thread as open as possible to retain as much info, similar stories or anything that will help me learn more on this topic. I know we will most likely be going back after this company in another court that has more "jurisdiction" than the current one and I know they will bring up the same things against our particular complaint. 

 

Thanks guys. Anything else that can help or I should look for is always greatly appreciated

Clearly there are multiple issues at play here. My 2c worth, as a casual observer with 30+ years of IT and related comms real-world experience:

- F-secure is one of the most reputable AV solutions. However, nothing is 100% secure.

- F-secure may or may not have a spam module, but regardless, nothing is 100% secure

- phone and scammer related issues may be related to someone breaching the "nothing is 100% secure" reality. However, since the same issues seem to be appearing for many clients of your ISP (and you will only know about those amongst your PSC grouping, but they may exist much more widely), it suggests that there might be a breach at Frontier and / or one or more of their staff might be compromised. I stress the word might, it's only a suggestion.

- Their replies, and your focus, seems to suggest that you might be both barking up the wrong tree and the issues lays elsewhere, as per my previous point.

The only way you can be sure is by conducting a very detailed forensic examination of BOTH all affected customers AND the ISP itself. In the real world that ain't gonna happen, so the best suggestion for you is to try and claim some damages, but more importantly walk away from the source of the apparent problem, Frontier. If that's not physically possible because there are no other option, then try to investigate the feasibility of creating your own direct link to T1 networks like the ISP do, ie. your own local ISP.

Good luck!

 

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