STIR/SHAKEN (S/S) is a protocol used reduce spam phone calls by digitally signing originating calls. This means that when you're receiving a call, you can tell if it's a legitimate (signed) calling party number based on call display information. With S/S, you can more easily avoid spam calls and should see an overall reduction in fraudulent robocalls and illegal phone number spoofing.

S/S began to rollout holistically in Canada on November 30th, 2021. Since it's rolling out over time, not all calls will be signed at launch.

We are still working to enable S/S for residential home phone customers and wireless customers (Freedom Mobile and Shaw Mobile) and that launch date is to be determined.

What is STIR/SHAKEN?

  • STIR (Secure Telephony Identity Revisited) and SHAKEN (Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information using Tokens) is a protocol and a set of methods and procedures that is used to digitally sign originating calls sent over an end-to-end IP network.
  • STIR/SHAKEN (S/S) has been mandated for use by Service Providers (SPs) by the FCC in the US and CRTC in Canada to reduce fraudulent robocalls and illegal phone number spoofing.
  • S/S is not a Shaw product or feature. Rather, it's a protocol that all Service Providers (SPs) are required to implement—as a condition of service. You will benefit from S/S regardless of which phone plan or features you're subscribed to. There's no additional cost or action required.

Do I Need to do Anything When STIR/SHAKEN Launches?

  • You do not need to do anything, and should simply notice the number of scam and spam calls decrease.
  • You may see some differences in the call display on your handsets when S/S is introduced, allowing you to identify a signed call.

How Can I Identify a Signed Call on My Call Display?

  • You can easily tell on your call display if an incoming call is signed or legitimate. This appears differently between home phone (landline) and mobile phone handsets.
    • Home phones will show "VER" on the call display to indicate the call is verified.
    • Mobile phones will show a green checkmark on call display to indicate the call is verified.
  • Unsigned calls will not have an indicator; they just won't show as verified.
  • Since STIR/SHAKEN is rolling out over time, not all calls will be signed at launch.

How Does STIR/SHAKEN Work?

  • Currently, there are many Caller ID spoofing mechanisms, and illegitimate spoofing can evolve to evade mitigation techniques. With S/S, you can more easily avoid spam calls and should see an overall reduction in fraudulent robocalls and illegal phone number spoofing.
  • The existing rules that the CRTC introduced around SPAM calling (see How To: Use Spam Call Blocking) will be applied to calls subjected to S/S. This may increase the efficacy of the CRTC’s spam call blocking rules. As S/S is rolled out across all SP’s, determinations on what will be done with unsigned calls is ongoing.
  • SHAKEN is a framework that utilizes the STIR protocol to digitally sign phone calls carried on IP-based (SIP) Trunks with one of three “Attestations” or “Trust values”. Using S/S, an originating SP will digitally sign a phone call as either “A” – verified association, “B” – not a fully verified association, or “C” – not verified. The destination SP looks at the Calling Party Information and the digital signature provided by the originating SP and determines whether it is trusted, partially trusted or not trusted at all. Assigning these designations is the responsibility of the originator of the call or the SP, either directly or at the point the call enters its network.

STIR/SHAKEN Topology

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Why Might the Rollout of STIR/SHAKEN be Delayed?

  • Rollout may be delayed due to challenges associated with testing and implementing the technical elements associated with the program. We expect this service to be fully implemented in the coming months.

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