Hacking threatens VOIP

Businesses that implement VOIP (voice over IP) telephony systems in their local area networks must ensure they have effective protection against the growing incidences of VOIP hacking. Most people are not aware of the dangers of VOIP, and many others only become aware of the risks when the damage has already been done.

As VOIP gains traction in the business sector, it becomes more evident that larger businesses are more vulnerable. No business owner wants to come back to work in the morning, only to realize that their VOIP lines have been illegally used the entire weekend to call a number in East Timor at a high rate. Then, adding insult to injury, they later discover the fraudster made full use of their SIP trunk, which means 50 simultaneous calls for as long as possible. The potential result—a huge bill in a few hours.

Who is responsible for the breach? The end-users, for not securing their server or SIP account details? The provider, for not ensuring that preventive measures are put in place on its SIP infrastructure?

The more constructive questions would be: How and why?

The how—the primary method that hackers use to gain access to your SIP account line is by simply cracking your password. More often than not it is found that end-users don’t take the time to change default passwords, leaving the door wide open for prowling hackers.

The why—once your account has been breached, the hacker then proceeds to make calls to specific destinations where they get a share of the cost of the call. This can be extremely costly if you do not have credit limits on your account.