Home > health & science > Coming to Terms with Thirty Years of hacking

Coming to Terms with Thirty Years of hacking

Computers are not the only devices that can be hacked. Today anything digital presents that possibility- of being hacked.
Though it has been around for almost thirty years, the concept of phone hacking is relatively new.
Celebrities have been in the receiving end of this activity lately with stories of reporters hacking into celebrities’ mobiles to listen to their communications.

Phreaking phone

Phreaking, as what it is called, contributes to as much as 15% of the estimated $5 bn telecommunications fraud in the US each year.

The operational term, called ‘dial through fraud’, starts by targeting a business that allows their workers to call from outside the office using their employer’s network to make such call. Though there is a security feature that is in place, often the default security values, it is usually bypassed.

Because they employ teams of people to look for networks that can be compromised, hackers often achieve success making them fearless for their next victims. After they gain access, the potential money making activity starts.

They make money when a legitimate call is coursed through the hacked network. It is like having deep discount for that call and the difference when compared with the usual rate is pocketed by the hacker, which is quite a sum. Sadly, for the compromised business, a huge phone bill is in order.

How to become Hack-proof

The situation is by no means hopeless. There are things that can be done to minimize or eliminate such criminal activity. Use of modern, up-to-date software makes it more difficult for hackers to break into your system. Use of self updating content management system also reduces the risks.

May software programs used in making websites can also be utilized in the phone industry. WordPress software is regularly updated to keep hackers at bay.

While phreaking is an international criminal activity, as many who engage in it are in Eastern Europe or even further, which makes them difficult to track, setting up a log-software is a step towards curtailing it.

Having a log-in software can monitor all the activity happening on the network at that time. Businesses must have specific rules in using telephones.

“So when somebody is dialing in and tries to dial a country that is on your list, which you know you should not have to phone, then you can get an email alert or phone call to alert you to possible criminal activity on your network.”

“You could also set up various levels of username and password security so that no one personally has access to all the functionality of that switchboard,” Says Prof Karl Himmler of the Open University.

Schools, charities, and other public institutions as a group are at risk.
Underestimating the risk is not an option.

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