Computer Crime Research Center


Police investigate phone hacker spree

Date: January 20, 2009

Thieves are hacking the internet phone systems of WA businesses and racking up hefty international phone bills in the process.

After receiving many complaints from businesses, WA Police technology crime investigations detectives are warning small business operators to be on alert and make use of security software to protect their internet phone systems.

A police spokesman said thieves are targeting older model PBX systems and are exploiting the forward function to make international phone calls.

One Perth business’s Voice Over Internet Protocols PBX telephone system was hacked by an unauthorised user who used the phone system to make more than 11,000 international telephone calls in 46 hours.

The business only became aware of the crime after receiving an invoice from their service provider that was in excess of $120,000.

Det-Sgt Jamie McDonald urged businesses to invest in appropriate security software to protect their communication systems.

“Most businesses are prepared to install firewalls on their computers but fail to extend that level of security to their phone systems,” he said.
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