Release of 15.11.2023

A1 Group Start Up Campus Alumni Member Whalebone is the leading DNS Cybersecurity Telco-Supplier worldwide.

The Czech-based DNS cybersecurity company Whalebone is an alumni member of the A1 Start Up Campus and has been a part of this initiative since 2017. It secures all devices in a household by scanning the data traffic on a DNS level and thus preventing malware to be downloaded or to communicate with a command-and-control server.

As of Q4 2023, Whalebone provides its services to millions of customers of more than 30 telcos globally, making it the leading DNS cybersecurity supplier for telcos. It has blocked over 5.5 billion threats in 2023 thereof over 830 million throughout the A1 Telekom Austria Group alone.

“As a telco company, protecting highly sensitive customer data is both top priority and core business. I am deeply impressed by the numbers reported by Whalebone not only in terms of subscribers but also in terms of prevented attacks on those subscribers. A1 Net Protect is not only a product – it is the expression of our responsibility for the security of our customers” says Alejandro Plater, CEO A1 Group.

Richard Malovic, CEO Whalebone, says, “I'm proud of what Whalebone has achieved in just a few short years. The mutual collaboration between A1 and Whalebone has enabled us to become the global market leader with the most telco cybersecurity deployments. Our mission is to protect one billion people worldwide from online threats and we are working tirelessly to achieve this goal. We will continue to innovate and collaborate with telcos around the world to safeguard the digital lives of people everywhere.”

Detailed analyses for A1 Groups CEE Footprint
A1 Group, as one of CEEs leading Telco Operators, together with Whalebone has thereby gained in depths insights of the cyber threats in CEE:
  • A1 Austria: When it comes to the number of cyber threats, the customers in Austria were confronted with a staggering increase of 3375.73% (2022/ 2023). But also, the awareness of customers rose as indicated by a gain of more than 300% in subscribers. An updated dashboard is available here
  • A1 North Macedonia: In North Macedonia, the uplift of cyber threats was also beyond expectations: 2636.48% more cyberthreats where reported compared to 2022.
  • A1 Croatia: A1 Croatia shows an unforeseen development with a decrease of cyberthreats. A reason for this is that that the number of threats in Croatia is extremely volatile: Sept and Oct last year were record-high in terms of threats (37 million and 57 million threats) and then were constantly at just a couple of hundred thousand or million each month before.
  • A1 Bulgaria: The number of detected cyber threats toward A1 Bulgaria customers who are using Net Protect had modestly increased by 130% compared to 2022.
  • A1 Serbia: The Serbian customers experiences a triplication in cyberthreats throughout 2023 with a raise of more than 300%.

More detailed in-depth analyses can be provided upon request.

New Phishing schemes arise: From Streaming to E-Mail-Services
While Whalebone filtered malicious Websites and prevented customers from being attacked, the company also uncovered some new phishing schemes:
  • The Streaming-Scheme: The most common one which repeatedly appeared claimed that there is a free Streaming offer of a renowned streaming service just waiting for users to grab. Once the user clicks on it, they will find a well-done and seemingly authentic fake copy of the streaming services and provide, in the worst case, their account-data.
  • The same goes for E-Mail providers: the cybercriminals fake a landing page of E-Mail providers. This malicious link is usually sent through an email or an SMS to seem legitimate, often claiming that the address needs to be confirmed to provide protection. This then paradoxically leads to the account being breached.
  • One of the more sophisticated schemes registered was a website that claimed to be an online gambling page with innocent-looking slot machines and virtual poker that functioned once tried, which makes it even more dangerous as it seems legit to most visitors of this dubious domain. It was spread as most of the phishing schemes via email and social media messages lurking its victims to click on this newest game with prizes of great value.

How Net Protect works
A1 Net Protect can be used on all operating systems and devices, without the need to purchase and install an additional app, software or hardware and intervenes regardless of the current life phase of the malicious software: before downloading, before accessing the dangerous domain, but also when the malware is already on the device and tries to communicate with its Command & Control Center. Thus, the A1 Net Protect protection covers all devices in the network, including those that are very complicated or impossible to secure because there is no suitable app or interface available. A1 Net Protect is therefore also ideally suited to protect smart home gadgets, such as smart thermostats or cameras. The service is updated in real-time, so users are always protected against the latest threats.


(2)Livia Dandrea-Böhm (en)
Livia Dandrea-Böhm
Spokesperson A1 Telekom Austria Group
+43 664 66 31452