Feeds

Filipino phone phreakers foiled

Hanging on the telephone

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

A gang of eight suspected of ripping off the Philippines' main phone company and its customers of millions over the last six years have been arrested by local authorities.

The Manila-based syndicate allegedly exploited security loopholes to obtain free access to telephone calls at the expense of customers of the Philippine Long Distant Telephone (PLDT). The process - known as phone phreaking - involves electronic manipulating phone systems, normally by sending additional control codes down phone lines. The gang is accused of reselling this free access for illicit gain.

The scam came to light only after PLDT's business customers complained of rogue calls on their bills. Most of the illegal calls were made to the Middle East, where many Filipinos work. Reuters reports that PLDT went to the "military, police and immigration officials", after tracing the illegal calls back to the eight suspects. PLDT reckons it has lost $3.5m since 1998 because of cyber criminals hacking into its subscribers' PABX system. The Manila Eight are prime suspects.

Air Force Chief Lieutenant General Jose Reyes said the gang (two Indian nationals, a Bangladeshi and five Filipino accomplices) are suspected of illegally tapping into the Philippine Long Distant Telephone (PLDT) company's system since 1998. The eight were rounded up in raids in Manila last week.

"They have deprived the government of nearly 20 million pesos [$357,000] in expected revenues," Reyes told reporters, adding that syndicate's alleged crimes were tantamount to economic sabotage. ®

Related stories

Multi-million pound mobile phone fraudster goes to jail
Telecoms fraud costs $55bn a year
Accused Pentagon Hacker's Online Life
Love Bug suspect (Filipino student Onel de Guzman) released

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.