Is VoIP Vulnerable?

It seems that VoIP will increasingly be targeted by criminals for security breaches and data theft.

So says the latest Cisco annual security report which predicts that cyber thieves will use VOIP for crime.

It states: "Criminals are using brute-force techniques to hack private branch exchanges and place fraudulent, long-distance international calls.

"These incidents often target SMBs and have resulted in significant financial losses for some companies."

Those techniques might include telephonic phishing, or vhishing. One such scam targeted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The vhishers called Americans via VoIP to inform them they were behind in their loan payments. Using that deception they were able to get hold of personal information such as Social Security Numbers.

Not only can identity theft be carried out by VoIP hacking, but it is possible to route bills so that the victim is left with a lot of money to pay.

Patrick Peterson, a Cisco fellow and chief security researcher, explained that VoIP was so appealing to criminals because it is free and anonymous.

He said: "We have seen an extraordinary increase recently in port scans and attempts to log in with default admin passwords on VoIP access points.

"Growing instances of VoIP hacking are being effected with baseline security hacks for criminal purposes."

The market research firm In-Stat says that by 2013 almost 80% of businesses will use VoIP. Because the VoIP market is thriving, so are cyber criminals.

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