Resellers are being urged not to bury their heads in the sand as the threat of PBX hacking continues to gather pace. Nimans says some dealers run a real risk of damaging their businesses if they inadvertently get caught-up in the multi-billion-pound epidemic.
“Unfortunately, the true extent of PBX hacking or Phreaking is generally underestimated by resellers and their customers,” says Dealer Sales Director, Tom Maxwell. “Yet in many reported cases, it is the reseller who has ended up being blamed for supplying an insecure system and has had to compensate the customer financially or otherwise. In most cases, they have also lost the customer as well! Bear in mind, the average cost to a victim of a UK Phreaking attack is currently estimated at £10,000.”
Tom continued: “It is now common knowledge that a case brought before the courts in the USA in June of 2009, exposed the criminal gangs responsible as having links to terrorists. They were passing funds raised from Phreaking to these terrorist groups.
“The gang had in excess of 2,500 PBX’s around the world “groomed” and ready to use for the illegal routing of calls. Many of these were located in the UK. They were eventually tracked down after three years, by which time they had routed $55 million dollars worth of illegal calls across their network.
“Why do they do it? Because they know there is little chance of being caught and it is safer for them to raise money this way rather than drug running for instance.
Is it going to go away? No. These are highly organised criminal gangs with state-of-the-art equipment which they use to hook chains of compromised PBX’s together to form their own networks.”
However there are proven and effective measures resellers can take which not only protect supported PBX systems, but also, just as importantly, shield themselves from expensive litigation in the event of an attempted Phreaking attack. Control Phreak, a proven PBX firewall which utilises ‘Active Voice Security’ is now widely available from Nimans and has full global accreditation from Panasonic. Phreakers usually strike after hours, at the weekend or during public holidays when detection is least likely, but Control Phreak automatically stops all unauthorised activity.