Phone (News - Alert) companies know about fraud, from the old Captain Crunch whistle hack -- people discovered that the whistles given away free in Captain Crunch cereal boxes were the same frequency, exactly 2600 hertz, as the phone company used to authorize open lines for calls -- and VoIP is a victim of it.
Check out this video from TMC’s (News - Alert) Tom Keating where somebody explains how they were hacked, to the tune of $400,000.
Revector, a U.K.-based fraud management company, recently reported that some telcos are losing up to $150 million per year in fraudulent calls through a relatively simple scheme where, for example, a fraudster will set up a conference server in a third-world country, and strike an agreement with the local state-owned phone company for fees for any calls terminated to their conference server:
“The fraudster will then gain access into a non-secure IP PBX (News - Alert) or SIP phone and use a software hack to continuously generate multiple calls to their foreign conference server. The conference server answers the calls and maintains them in progress indefinitely, generating tens of thousands of dollars in international phone calls.”
The fraudster collects termination fees from the telco, which bills the international long distance vendor, which bills the SIP service provider serving the hacked enterprise customer. And we’re talking a single fraud event can cost a SIP service provider “anywhere from $3-50 thousand dollars,” according to least cost routing company TransNexus (News - Alert).
Almost elegant in its simplicity -- phone phreaker John Draper would be proud -- yet costly for the unsuspecting fraud target -- nominally an enterprise, but really the SIP provider serving the enterprise customer.
One way to combat this is via TransNexus’ NexOSS, a least cost routing solution that can get rid of such traffic-pumping fraud for VoIP providers by including smart monitoring features that sense when there is an unusual spike in call traffic to a specific destination, and automatically putting a temporary block on the route.
To find out more about TransNexus, visit the company at ITEXPO East 2012. To be held Jan. 31- Feb. 3 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Fla. ITEXPO (News - Alert) is the world’s premier IP communications event. Visit TransNexus in booth # 311. Don’t wait. Register now.
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David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Tammy Wolf