UCBlocker: Unwanted Call Blocking Using Anonymous Authentication

Changlai Du, Hexuan Yu, Yang Xiao, Y. Thomas Hou, Angelos D. Keromytis, Wenjing Lou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Telephone users are receiving more and more unwanted calls including spam and scam calls because of the transfer-without-verification nature of global telephone networks, which allows anyone to call any other numbers. To avoid unwanted calls, telephone users often ignore or block all incoming calls from unknown numbers, resulting in the missing of legitimate calls from new callers. This paper takes an end-to-end perspective to present a solution to block unwanted calls while allowing users to define the policies of acceptable calls. The proposed solution involves a new infrastructure based on anonymous credentials, which enables anonymous caller authentication and policy definition. Our design decouples caller authentication and call session initiation and introduces a verification code to interface and bind the two processes. This design minimizes changes to telephone networks, reduces latency to call initiation, and eliminates the need for a call-time data channel. A prototype of the system is implemented to evaluate its feasibility.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication32nd USENIX Security Symposium, USENIX Security 2023
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781713879497
StatePublished - 2023
Event32nd USENIX Security Symposium, USENIX Security 2023 - Anaheim, United States
Duration: Aug 9 2023Aug 11 2023

Publication series

Name32nd USENIX Security Symposium, USENIX Security 2023


Conference32nd USENIX Security Symposium, USENIX Security 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© USENIX Security 2023. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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