It seems like every day on the news we are hearing about some kind of fraud – whether it be voting fraud, tax fraud, credit fraud, or even identity fraud. They are all different yet the common denominator is often the exploitation of new technologies. VoIP fraud shares that attribute. VoIP is a powerful communications resource that is indispensable today. All the more reason unethical individuals want to access it fraudulently. Though it is all digital, make no mistake, VoIP fraud is theft.
What Exactly is VoIP Fraud?
To put it in its simplest terms, VoIP fraud is the unauthorized usage of VoIP services resulting in the costs being placed upon some unsuspecting party. That means lots of long distance phone calls and other communications activities. The victim can be either a company or a customer. If the hacker is subtle enough, or if your network is poorly managed, VoIP fraud can cost you a pretty penny indeed. What is even worse is that even when you do notice a problem, being repaid for losses is extremely rare.
So just how big is the VoIP fraud problem? In 2015, the total amount of theft achieved by private branch exchange hacking rings amounted to $46 billion. A single VoIP fraud ring was once estimated to have cost enterprise Voip networks $55 million.
How Do Hackers and Thieves Carry Out these Schemes?
How does VoIP fraud happen in the first place? What is a typical enterprise PBX attack?
Much like testing door knobs to see if they are really locked, VoIP hackers will often begin their assault by testing enterprise PBX networks online. For those who have not bothered to change the default name and password, just know that there are some out there who randomly give them a try. Of course the default credentials to login can be found online for all major manufacturers of VoIP products. ALWAYS change this immediately!
Once inside, the criminal can begin making the most expensive calls possible. These calls can run in large batches and for extremely long amounts of time.
What is even worse is the criminal can even set up his own business off the backbone of yours. He can sell phone services at a rate much cheaper than you could ever offer. He can do this because you are the one taking all the costs while it is all profit to him.
VoIP Fraud Prevention is the Key
Most of these actions are performed across borders, so it is extremely difficult to ever get justice once victimized. The best thing to do is to focus on prevention. It all begins with very strong passwords. This is the first line of defense and a great deterrent. You should also have a system in place to ban suspicious login behavior, such as too many failed attempts or attempts to use the same value for password as they used for the user name. There are many more advanced PBX security techniques to stop VoIP fraud in its tracks, and M2 Communications is here to help you with it all. Contact us today to discuss our VoIP service offerings and VoIP fraud prevention capabilities.