A newly discovered Apple patent details technology that could one day enable iPhones to detect calls from spoofed phone numbers. The patent application was published today by the USPTO, and it hints at a possible plan at Apple to tackle the growing number of scam calls. Similar warnings already exist from certain wireless carriers, but they’re typically based on phone number databases.
The patent application covers the “Detection of spoofed call information,” specifically citing mobile devices like the iPhone. When a user receives a call, they’re often able to view the phone number, but have no way of knowing whether it is actually originating from the area code it presents.
The patent application explains that a variety of information could be used to determine whether a call is spoofed, the end goal being the protection of users who may believe they’ll being contacted by a friend, utility company, bank, or similar entities.
The technology revolves around session initiation protocol (SIP) invites sent to the recipient’s phone. Some information in these can be spoofed, but others are filled by network servers, contributing to a signature that can identify the nature of the call.
A database of call signatures can be used as a reference for determining whether any given call is authentic or spoofed. If the call is determined to originate from somewhere other than the presented number, the mobile device – an iPhone, in this case — would present the info to the user as a warning.
As with any patent, it’s possible Apple will never launch a feature based on the technology.
SOURCE: Apple Insider