Feeds

VoIP phreakers establish thriving black market

Sneakers

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
Google eyes business service in latest Fiber trials
Lucky Kansas City buggers to host yet another pilot program
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.