VoIP Cyber Security at Buroserv
Cyber crime is a growing issue for modern businesses, leaving you open to financial losses, disruption of trading, and potentially irreparable damage to your brand. One of the most dangerous threats is VoIP cyber crime. Fortunately, Buroserv is here to help.
What is VoIP cyber crime?
Vishing: Using VoIP phone systems to deceive call recipients into revealing sensitive personal information.
Unauthorised access to VoIP systems: When hackers use your IP phone system to make calls.
Unauthorised calls are typically made to expensive overseas destinations — such as Antarctica and North Korea — that you would not normally ring yourself. Using computers to generate the calls, criminals can make hundreds of calls a minute, potentially costing thousands of dollars an hour.
The criminals responsible are highly organised, using sophisticated techniques to hack vulnerable systems and crack passwords. This type of crime is very profitable, with the hackers receiving a “kickback” from the recipients of the fraudulent calls.
VoIP cyber attacks can be carried out from overseas, which makes it difficult for law enforcement to catch and prosecute the perpetrators. What’s more, the proceeds can be substantial. This combination of low risk and high reward makes VoIP cyber crime an attractive opportunity for criminals.
VoIP cyber crime is any form of criminal activity involving IP phone systems. It happens when cyber criminals gain remote access to your PBX or telephone account. Common examples include:
Spam over internet telephony: Unsolicited voice messages delivered via VoIP.
How Buroserv provides cybersecurity protection
Clearly, VoIP cyber crime is a big concern. But this doesn’t mean businesses should miss out on the wide-ranging benefits of VoIP phone systems. Instead, they should take steps to protect themselves.
Buroserv has implemented numerous measures designed to minimise and prevent the threats of VoIP cyber crime.
Restricted & blocked Destinations
By default, we restrict customers’ (and therefore hackers’) ability to make international calls by limiting them to countries that are relatively free of cyber crime. These include commonly called countries such as New Zealand, Singapore and the US.
Of course, some customers have legitimate reasons to call a wider range of overseas destinations. These customers can opt out of our Restricted Destinations programme. However, we will still block calls to extremely high-risk destinations, such as North Korea.
Buroserv uses real-time traffic monitoring to identify fraudulent call patterns at any time of day. We employ sophisticated reporting tools to determine whether the number of calls to any particular destination is outside the norm.
If fraud is detected, an alarm is generated and our security specialists will investigate, taking the necessary corrective action, such as blocking accounts or destinations. We respond to alarms 24 hours a day, 7 days a week because most criminals deliberately launch attacks outside of normal business hours to reduce the chances of detection.
As well as responding to fraudulent calls, Buroserv monitors for suspicious activity. This includes:
Active monitoring of password attempts: High levels of unsuccessful password attempts are monitored to prevent “brute force” attempts to break into your account.
Monitoring of unsuccessful fraud attempts: Multiple call attempts to destinations on our list of blocked and restricted destinations are an indication that an account has been compromised.
If we detect that one of our customer’s accounts has been compromised, we will immediately bar international calling to prevent any further fraudulent calls. We also contact the affected customer and provide a report detailing both successful and unsuccessful call attempts.
Evidence from other carriers suggests that the incidence of VoIP cybercrime is increasing.
In addition, the methods employed are becoming more sophisticated. For instance, fraud attempts used to be directed largely toward single countries, whereas now criminals often target multiple destinations simultaneously to identify phone numbers that are not blocked.
Buroserv continuously reviews all successful and unsuccessful fraud attempts to enable us to improve our fraud detection and prevention algorithms, ensuring that our customers continue to receive the highest level of protection.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is when a hacker gains access to your VoIP service account and uses it to make unauthorised calls, usually to expensive overseas destinations. Without adequate protection, hackers can make thousands of dollars of calls in a very short space of time. This makes it important to choose a service provider that utilises sophisticated fraud control systems to automatically detect and block fraudulent calls.
VoIP phones are generally very secure provided the password used to authenticate calls isn't compromised. That's why it's important to restrict access to anywhere your password might be stored, such as your phone or computer.
The steps to take to secure your VoIP network are similar to those used to secure a computer network. For example, use hard to guess passwords, don't store your passwords in clear text and restrict remote system access.
While VoIP calls are much harder to intercept than PSTN calls - you can't record a call by clipping onto a wire - an extra level of security is available using a protocol called SRTP. SRTP encrypts voice packets before transmission, so even if the call is intercepted, it won't be possible to understand what's being said. Because SRTP is an end-to-end protocol, it needs to be supported by both the calling and called parties' phones.