Impact

Project Butt-Dial

By Steve Loftus

Everyone hates getting phone calls from scammers. And one day, someone decided to do something about it.

Steven Loftus, a senior engineer at UNCOMN, was fed up with scam calls flooding his mobile phone one day and decided he needed to find a way to shut them down. Inspired by a video from “Project Mayhem” wherein someone launched a Denial of Service attack against scam call centers, Steven wrote his own utility and released the code for free on GitHub.

His tool, affectionately called “Butt-Dial” operates on a loop, calling from randomized phone numbers and using dozens of phone lines, every few seconds. The calls themselves play back recorded messages – sometimes involving children screaming into the phone or sometimes just a polite female voice explaining that they can’t hear the person they’re calling. Then a recorded robot voice on a never-ending loop tells them to stop calling people and scamming them. These calls are recorded for enjoyment, as nothing feels quite as good as hearing scammers get frustrated at getting too many phone calls.


Project Butt-Dial, to date, has caused about a dozen scammer phone lines to cease their operation or move to new numbers.


Project Butt-Dial started off as a Bash and Python combo and has since grown into a Python project that operates inside Docker.

Loftus wrote a simple, one-line BASH script to run his python script quickly:

Then he ran the BASH file to make rake rapid phone calls:

While active development has ceased, the code is available for free on GitHub and you are invited to use the project to shut down scammers as needed.

 

*legal issues are your own if you use this code*