FCC wants hackers help to halt telemarketing calls

WASHINGTON - Hate those annoying automated telemarketing calls? Well, help is on the way.

The Federal Trade Commission says it's enlisting hackers to help track and trap illegal phone spammers.

The agency says it'll go to DEF CON 22, one of the world's oldest and largest hacker conferences, with a challenge called "Zapping Rachel." It asks spammers to build the ultimate "honeypot" -- a system to lure and identify illegal robocallers.  

"Zapping Rachel" will consist of three stand-alone contests hosted at the conference from August 7th through 10th. Complete rules will be posted to Challenge.gov in advance of the contest.  

The goal is to find new technologies that can help experts and law enforcement authorities understand and combat illegal calls, and help consumers block those calls.  

Consumer tips and other information about the FTC's enforcement efforts against telemarketing scams are available online at www.ftc.gov/robocalls.

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