VoIP and Phone Line Theft

VOIP

VoIP and Phone Line Theft

By: Corey Cleary

VoIP has a really big downside that most of us don’t even recognize, theft of your phone lines. Yes, I said theft. It may also lead to theft of your entire phone system from a software point of view. Let me explain. What we are really talking about primarily focuses on Voicemail.

In some systems, the Voicemail and Phone System are one unit. This can be especially bad because VoIP phone systems are really computers running software and most all of them are attached to phone lines in some capacity. These phone lines have long distant carriers and those long distant carriers have agreements with carriers in other countries. Usually there will be people (who are somehow affiliated with less reputable long distant carriers) who will dial into your phone system and “hack” the voicemail. This usually happens on voicemail boxes that have the default password.

What happens is they use the default password to enter the mailbox and then set the mailbox up to make outbound calls. After the setup is complete, they then make phone calls to the countries that they have some agreement with, and use the provider so the long distance bill sky rockets and you get stuck with it. They make money at your expense. The simple solution is to change your passwords at least once every 90 days. The sad thing is that this is just the beginning. As more and more systems go online and SIP becomes the standard, more systems will be hacked.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that VoIP is a PC based concept. As much as you would like not to admit it, it is a computer and it is most likely running Linux. Read up on security and ask the phone vendor, “Do you guys also work on PC’s or Network Security?” If the answer is no, then you might want to look for another vendor. We are Microsoft Partners, Panasonic Dealers, and Netgear Partners. We have been trained, and your guy should be as well.

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