Feeds

VoIP phreakers establish thriving black market

Sneakers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Telephone systems hackers have established a thriving black market in reselling stolen VoIP minutes.

Hackers are breaking into gateway servers used to connect a carrier's phone network to the internet and reselling this access to smaller, unscrupulous operators, sometimes via web-based wholesale minutes markets. Wholesale purchasers of the purloined access are often small telco operations who resell access to ordinary punters via printed phone cards.

These telephone phreakers steal 200m minutes a month, worth $26m, estimates New York telecom firm Stealth Communications.

Telecoms fraud is a well known, if under-reported problem, that pre-dates the internet by years. It is a multimillion-dollar business, with estimates of direct damages resulting from fraud varying from $35bn to $40bn a year.

This fraud comes in many guises of which the growing trade in VoIP phreaking is just one relatively small but growing component. Newsweek reports that uncovering the perpetrators of this illicit trade is extremely difficult, if not impossible.

A Panamanian telco that recently lost $110,000 as a result of VoIP fraud hired Hong Kong consultancy TSTF to track down the phreakers involved. The trail led through Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, and the US before going cold. Phreaker trails are far too complex to track successfully, Emmanuel Gadaix, head of TSTF, told Newsweek. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?