This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 10 December, 2019
Advertisement

ComReg warns of increase in 'corporate phone-hacking'

Instances of hacking into a company’s switchboard, and then using their phone lines to make calls, are up in 2011.

Modern switchboards can potentially be accessed from outside - meaning companies could end up paying for the phone calls made by outside hackers.
Modern switchboards can potentially be accessed from outside - meaning companies could end up paying for the phone calls made by outside hackers.
Image: Neil Rickards via Flickr

THE COMMUNICATIONS REGULATOR has reported an increase in phone-hacking instances so far in 2011 – and warned Irish businesses to be wary of vulnerabilities in their phone systems.

Details provided by ComReg to the Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte, show that the number of phone-hacking complaints lodged with the regulator so far this year is up significantly on the same period from last year.

By mid-July, ComReg had found 21 complaints to be legitimate examples of hacking – already equalling the number of bona fide complaints registered for 2010.

Over half of the cases registered in the last three years involved exploitations of a ‘private branch exchange’ (PABX) – a type of internal phone system common among businesses.

Those cases would commonly involve cases where an outside individual would gain access to a corporate phone network, and then hi-jack it to make outbound phone calls at the company’s expense.

While companies may notice this activity through their own logging systems, or be alerted to unusual activity by their phone provider, in some cases businesses may not be aware of their vulnerability until they are charged for calls made by the hacker.

ComReg said it reminded all business PABX users to ensure they had the appropriate security arrangements in place in order to avoid vulnerability to the practice.

While no specific breakdown was available, ComReg said that phone customers had incurred costs of over €333,000 as a result of various types of hacking in 2010.

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

Read next:

COMMENTS (3)