$120,000 VOIP Phone Bill: Thanks Hackers (Protect Your VOIP Phone System)

Thumbnail image for spy-thief.jpgEvery day you swipe your credit card like a box of tissue on a runny nose – and in the back of your mind wondering if someone’s using your credit card illegally.
You don’t even think of giving your driver’s license to the security guard in the gleaming office towers you go to during the course of the day. But you do wonder if your identity has been stolen.
You pick up your snazzy $.0000001 cent a minute VOIP telephone can make calls around the world. Then one day the bill comes and you realize that instead of paying $20 a month you get a bill for $5,000 or more! What happened? Hacker’s hacked into your telephone system.
The Australian writes that A SMALL business has been landed with a $120,000 phone bill after criminals hacked into its internet phone system and used it to make 11,000 international calls in just 46 hours. Police detectives said thieves were targeting Voice over Internet Protocols (VoIP) PBX systems. Thieves can exploit the call-forward function and run up huge international phone bills, Sergeant Greg Lambert said. A small Perth business reported its VoIP PBX telephone system was hacked by an unauthorised user who used it to make more than 11,000 international phone calls in a 46-hour period this month.
If you are relying on VOIP telephone systems, you should be concerned. On one hand your VOIP system is using your network so if your network is secure, your telephone system should be relatively secured. On the other hand your VOIP system is using special protocols that might need to be specially configured.
Computer World offers some useful insight to protect yourself and writes “VOIP security needs to be handled in the overall context of data security,” Krauthamer says.

But there are some aspects of VOIP networks that users need to pay close attention to, says Christopher Kemmerer, an analyst at NexTiraOne Inc., an integrator of voice and data networks in Houston.
Overall remember that implementing VOIP is good but you need to work with a technology consultant to ensure it is as secure as possible.
Regularly check your telephone bill. This is a first, very easy and thorough way of monitoring your telephone bill. If you see high charges or phone calls that don’t look quite walk, talk to your VOIP provider, have a security expert audit your telephone line.
The Computer World article continues to read In a VOIP world, private branch exchanges (PBX) are replaced by server-based IP PBXs running on Microsoft Corp.’s Windows NT or a vendor’s proprietary operating system. Such call management boxes, which are used both for serving up VOIP services and for logging call information, are susceptible to virus attacks and hackers. Break-ins of these servers could result in the loss or compromise of potentially sensitive data, Kemmerer says.
Consequently, it’s important that such equipment is properly locked down, placed behind firewalls, patched against vulnerabilities and frequently monitored using intrusion-detection systems, he says.

Network World has a VOIP security site here.

One thought on “$120,000 VOIP Phone Bill: Thanks Hackers (Protect Your VOIP Phone System)

  1. Miles Technologies

    “Overall remember that implementing VOIP is good but you need to work with a technology consultant to ensure it is as secure as possible.” – Excellent advice! A technology consultant such as Miles Technologies can help businesses to gain value from VoIP by establishing and maintaining network security for the system.

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