Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) is issuing a warning to local businesses that use PBX telephone systems following reports of phone hacking fraud suffered by at least three island-based organisations in the past week.
The fraud involves PBX telephone systems (as opposed to more modern IP systems) being subjected to illegal and unauthorised access by criminals and is not linked to any single telecoms operator. Once they have gained access, the criminals use the hacked firm’s phone system to route their own call traffic, at the company’s expense.
CWC became suspicious after noticing unusually high activity on a system managed by CWC on behalf of a customer. Further investigation revealed that rather than being an issue related to the operator, it appears to be linked to the type of PBX system used.
CWC believes local companies need to be made aware of this issue so that they can take the necessary steps to review their security arrangements and ensure they do not fall victim to the hackers. One basic measure that all firms can take
to help protect against falling victim to the fraud is to ensure that all passcodes are difficult to guess and are not similar to associated direct dial numbers.
Graham Hughes, Chief Executive of Cable & Wireless Jersey, said, “Unfortunately this fraud is operating on a large scale and the costs being incurred by the victims can run into the tens of thousands of pounds.
“At CWC, we are working with our clients to protect them against falling victim to the hackers. If any company is unsure about whether they are vulnerable to this fraud, they are welcome to contact our team and we will advise them as to the best course of action, which may include auditing those systems which are at higher risk.
Any company worried about the vulnerability of their telephone system can contact the CWC Business Team by calling 888291 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org