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Feds Seek Hackers’ Help in Zapping ‘Rachel’ the Robocaller

Federal regulators hope hackers can help put a stop to what millions Americans and the government so far have been unable to: those annoying automated telemarketing calls from “Rachel from Cardholder Services.” The Federal Trade Commission is asking attendees of next month’s DEF CON 22 hacking conference in Las Vegas to build a next-generation robocall “honeypot” — an information system trap to lure in and identify perpetrators of illegal robocalls. The FTC on Friday published official rules for the "Zapping Rachel" contest, which offers $17,000 in cash prizes. “Rachel from Cardholder Services” is one of the most notorious — and most annoying — robocallers ever,” the FTC said on its contest page.The agency says it fielded more than 2.2 million complaints last year about unwanted automated marketing calls, despite the existence of a national “Do Not Call” list.

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— James Eng