Upgrade your PABX and be alert for hacking

 As modern telephone systems improve their security protection against PABX hacking, the risk to businesses using older phone systems is increasing as hackers are being forced to look further afield for victims of their crimes.

We are aware of an increase in recent times of PABX hacking focused on some older versions of a particular PABX brand used by smaller businesses.

These incidents can be an enormous cost - over $100,000 in some cases - because they typically involve a large number of unauthorised calls to International numbers and Premium Rate Services such as mobile ringtones, screensavers, horoscope readings etc, usually 190X numbers in Australia and more notoriously 900 numbers in the US.

PABX hacker criminals illegally gain access to your PABX and use it to make unauthorised calls, or to charge phone cards, or commit other forms of illegal activity, for example access internal voicemail. Once they penetrate the voicemail they are able to re-program the PABX system to make International telephone calls.

It can also expose also companies to the risk of stolen trade secrets or competitive information, exposed financial data or employee info, exploited customer billing or credit information.

There are a number of preventative steps we can make to improve your security:

  • Improving your password's quality and changing them regularly
  • Remove default passwords from your PABX and handsets, default passwords and obvious passwords such as “password” or “administrator” make it easy for hackers to attack your phone system.
  • Change Voicemail PINs regularly and ban the use of obvious PINS
  • Block access rights to international calls and block calls to countries you don't do business with
  • Cancel unused voicemail boxes
  • Limit call types to extensions; unless an employee needs access to Premium Rate or international calls then block them from the handset
  • Always be on the lookout for signs of unusual activity – for example out-of-hours calls etc.

However, professional maintenance and upgrading your PABX is one of the best ways to ensure you don't fall victim to this fraud.

Evotec can advise on the ideal PABX upgrade for your business and provides PriorITel maintenance support to reduce your risk - for help, call your Evotec consultant on 1300 996 133.