Vodacom did not sell subscriber info

recre8

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Sounds like a very carefully worded statement. "Did not" is used a lot, and I'm not sure it was used in the context of the recent incident only.

I wonder if their billing is calculated before or after the headers are appended.
 

rpm

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So mybroadband.co.za is speaking on behalf of Vodacom?
Not. I was frustrated when I read all the follow-up reports on our initial article - which was very far from the initial issue – and decided to do an article on what actually happened.
 

Vis1/0N

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Don't trust them. Their intentions or their systems. They have failed us either way.
 

Devo-sa

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I smell BS.

A "bug"??? Really? This is the most pathetic thing I've ever read here - and people will probably believe it. That's the sad part.

Even more sad is the tone of this article... Interesting to say the least, how suddenly MyBB seems to be backing Vodacom 110%. What happened? Did you get threatened or bought?

I challenge anyone who thinks Vodacom does not actively sell/provide customer contact details to marketing companies, to do the following:
  1. Go get yourself a pay-as-you-go sim card at a vodashop.
  2. Do the Rica thing right there, which takes about 10 minutes.
  3. Drive home after your new sim card has been issued.
  4. At home, put in your new sim card, and count how many SMSs from companies Vodacom gave your details to you have already. I counted 4.

Very disappointing indeed, that the big myBB dog is suddenly p*ssing like a puppy.
 

MagicDude4Eva

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Everyone knows that the only reason why you get marketing messages on a new SIM is because it is a recycled number. Doh, how can you not know this :p
 

Bryn

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A "bug"??? Really? This is the most pathetic thing I've ever read here - and people will probably believe it. That's the sad part.

Even more sad is the tone of this article... Interesting to say the least, how suddenly MyBB seems to be backing Vodacom 110%. What happened? Did you get threatened or bought?

I challenge anyone who thinks Vodacom does not actively sell/provide customer contact details to marketing companies, to do the following:
  1. Go get yourself a pay-as-you-go sim card at a vodashop.
  2. Do the Rica thing right there, which takes about 10 minutes.
  3. Drive home after your new sim card has been issued.
  4. At home, put in your new sim card, and count how many SMSs from companies Vodacom gave your details to you have already. I counted 4.

Very disappointing indeed, that the big myBB dog is suddenly p*ssing like a puppy.

I also found the tone of the article disturbing.
 

Napalm2880

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I also found the tone of the article disturbing.

The article gave Vodacom a chance to give their side of the story. What's so disturbing about that?

That said,

Vodacom did not provide sensitive subscriber information to businesses or marketing companies.
Vodacom did not sell any private subscriber information to anyone.

Can anyone in the WASP industry can confirm the above is completely true?
 

elvis_presley

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Can anyone in the WASP industry can confirm the above is completely true?

While I don't know the entire set of products that Vodacom sells, I can comment on the issue at hand (where you can pay to have the Cell# sent through to your website in a header). We've actually had a test account and used the product from both MTN and Vodacom - no personal information is sent (well, just the ph#, I guess that's personal).

Edit: Also LBS, OBS, and other very "personal" services - at no time do they give you the subscriber details, they're pretty good at shielding you from that and you just work through the MSISDN.
 

Jan

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We've actually had a test account and used the product from both MTN and Vodacom - no personal information is sent (well, just the ph#, I guess that's personal).

MTN has just given me comment saying they never expose the MSISDN to the WASP, which I'll be working into a larger article. Are they not telling the truth? Or is the nuance here that MTN does not expose the MSISDN in production, but they are running tests with some WASPs (i.e. at least you)?
 

elvis_presley

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MTN has just given me comment saying they never expose the MSISDN to the WASP, which I'll be working into a larger article. Are they not telling the truth? Or is the nuance here that MTN does not expose the MSISDN in production, but they are running tests with some WASPs (i.e. at least you)?

Well they certainly sell the service, and were willing to take our money, as far as I know it's a production-ready product. We've known about the product for years and years - it's nothing new.

Having said that it was near the beginning of the year I tried it, it's possible they've moved to obfuscate the numbers, but I doubt it - because as Jannie mentioned the main people who use this service are for billing, etc - where you'd need to know the MSISDN to take action.

But this whole issue is a non-story. A storm in a teacup. If your systems are audited and approved to the point you can get access to LBS, OBS, and this MSISDN-passthrough, there are other products you can purchase from the providers that would be far more effective at gathering cell#'s.

The hoops you have to jump through to get services like LBS, OBS, MSISDN-Passthrough are so convoluted, and the scrutiny you get using them, I honestly believe that they won't be used for nefarious reasons by 3rd parties. I don't lose any sleep at night over them.
 

lexis

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Nov 14, 2007
Messages
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MTN and its WASPS taught me a lesson: I ditched all contracts and went the pay as you go way. If you now bother me I simply ditch your simcard or migrate to a different company. :)
 

Jan

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But this whole issue is a non-story. A storm in a teacup. If your systems are audited and approved to the point you can get access to LBS, OBS, and this MSISDN-passthrough, there are other products you can purchase from the providers that would be far more effective at gathering cell#'s.

Sure, but there's a different story here. I don't want my ISP to mess with my HTTP headers or responses. Certainly not without telling me that it is.
 

jannievanzyl

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A "bug"??? Really? This is the most pathetic thing I've ever read here - and people will probably believe it. That's the sad part.

Even more sad is the tone of this article... Interesting to say the least, how suddenly MyBB seems to be backing Vodacom 110%. What happened? Did you get threatened or bought?

I challenge anyone who thinks Vodacom does not actively sell/provide customer contact details to marketing companies, to do the following:
  1. Go get yourself a pay-as-you-go sim card at a vodashop.
  2. Do the Rica thing right there, which takes about 10 minutes.
  3. Drive home after your new sim card has been issued.
  4. At home, put in your new sim card, and count how many SMSs from companies Vodacom gave your details to you have already. I counted 4.

Very disappointing indeed, that the big myBB dog is suddenly p*ssing like a puppy.

Go get a 'new' pay-as-you-go SIM and I guarantee you it's been used by 20 people before you. And every service they subscribed to and every database they ended up on will now have 'your' number.

Got a new (non-Vodacom) contract number the other day for testing. The poor guy that had that number before me must've run up a LOT of unpaid bills based on the calls and SMSs I'm getting.

For those interested, there is a system in place that alert the WASPs when a number is recycled so they can remove it. How well it's being utilised is clearly another question......
 

elvis_presley

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Sure, but there's a different story here. I don't want my ISP to mess with my HTTP headers or responses. Certainly not without telling me that it is.

Ignorance is bliss - If your issue really is that they fiddle with headers and not this particular Vodacom issue, then ISPs have been doing this; adding/removing/changing headers since the dawn of the internet. Hell - messing with HTTP (caching) headers is part of the HTTP RFC spec. The mobile providers aren't setting a precedent here.

And this extends to other protocols - SMTP and NNTP which use a similar header/body format also require the headers to be manipulated for correct operation of the protocols. Are you alarmed that your email headers are being manipulated without telling you?

You're wasting your time chasing another non-story here. Why not rather take your time to follow up on the claims by Equalizer that eNatis databases were leaked? That's genuinely interesting.
 

Paul Hjul

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For those interested, there is a system in place that alert the WASPs when a number is recycled so they can remove it. How well it's being utilised is clearly another question......
And one which I imagine is better placed at the WASPs and WAPA etc ...
also one which I imagine involves several commercially sensitive discussions and complications for Vodacom
 

elvis_presley

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For those interested, there is a system in place that alert the WASPs when a number is recycled so they can remove it. How well it's being utilised is clearly another question......

I'm interested. We're one of Vodacom's biggest WASPs and nobody's ever mentioned this to us! What's its name, what should I ask for?

Edit: On an unrelated matter, I had to phone VC support today, the Vodacom Business number listed here
http://help.vodacom.co.za/personal/contactus/

is wrong, it should be 0821940 according to the person who I was transferred to after phoning the normal pleb number :) I highly doubt that the operator is going to get that info to the right person to get it changed.
 
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jxharding

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@jannievanzyl, can you please confirm whether or not Vodacom is supplying cell nrs to Wasps e.g. Mira Networks - you'll recall the case where no SMS was ever sent yet double opt-in confirmation was automatically completed via Vodacom providing cell numbers to them. Thats the only way that Mira can get hold of the cell nr without SMS's being involved.
 
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