By Business Reporter
TELECOM Namibia has warned that a number of businesses in Namibia have been hit lately with PABX fraud/hacking and it is estimated that PABX hacking has costs local companies over N$6 million this month (February) alone.
PABX fraud and now known as ‘Phreaking’, is when hackers fraudulently access a company’s PABX system and uses it to make expensive long distance calls.
This fraudulent activity has impacted some Namibian businesses quite heavily in the past weeks.
Destinations affected by the fraud include Angola, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Somalia, Senegal, Uganda, Guinea, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Sao Tome, Papua New Guinea, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cuba, Guyana, Albania, Macedonia and Monaco. The routes to these destinations have been temporarily blocked, meaning no calls can be made from Namibia to all the above countries.
“Criminal phreakers figure out how to access PBXs owned by businesses and then sell long-distance calling capacities provided by these systems to the public. While this type of fraud has been around for a very long time now it seems that the fraudsters are now back trying to hit businesses in Namibia.
“In most cases PABX fraud can be avoided if the customer speaks with their PABX supplier, and requests that the systems be audited to check for potential fraud weaknesses. In this regard, Telecom Namibia wishes to underline that this breach is a result of a PABX system being inadequately protected, and not as a result of a line or network problem on the part of Telecom Namibia. We therefore want to ask all those who have experienced such fraud/hacking to contact their service provider to rectify their PABX systems,” Oiva Angula, Telecom’s head: corporate communications and public relations said.
He further warned that it should be noted that the legal liability for the traffic and payment for international charges rests with the customer, so it is important that they remain vigilant regarding their PABX security.
“Our PABX technicians are working diligently to assist PABX customers from not falling prey to these criminal phreakers,” he added.
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