Prevent Long Distance Fraud/PBX Hacking

Everyone seems to be aware of the need to protect their critical data from Internet hackers, but your PBX system is equally, perhaps even more vulnerable than your computers. Attacks on PBX’s, voicemail, and other telecom services can paralyze your company, reveal its secrets, damage its reputation and be costly to repair. We want you to be aware of the threat and to point you to some good resources for your protection.

Your PBX system’s long life and similarity to many others may be one of the problems. Very few models exist and some are old enough to lack state-of the art security features. But the newer ones have sophisticated security features that may be hard to understand. Their features may be managed off-site with remote access by users. These “doors’ into the system, as well as unused phones or peripheral features, may leave you vulnerable to a hacker.

Please contact your PBX vendor to discuss security – he or she is your expert. Here are some questions for your discussion:

  • Is your telecom management site locked and does it have controlled access?
  • Is your remote-call-out feature disabled? Is your remote maintenance line into your PBX disabled?
  • Are ALL voicemail passwords unique, secure, and are they changed regularly?
  • Are maintenance ports secure?
  • Have you considered digit dial blocking on your PBX if you do not make International calls?

What do you do if you are the victim of Long Distance Fraud?

  • If you discover activity on your PBX that you cannot explain, call FirstLight and your phone vendor. Ask your phone vendor if you should consider unplugging your PBX to interrupt fraudulent activity.
  • Contact your phone vendor to improve security on your PBX.
  • Consider International Toll Blocking with PIN Override in addition to digit dial blocking on your PBX.

Who is responsible for charges for Fraudulent calls?

The FCC has ruled that the end-user (customer) is responsible to pay the long distance charges resulting from fraudulent use of the phone. FirstLight voluntarily works with customers to lower their bill when possible. Please ask your Phone vendor to work with our repair group to assure your PBX is secure, and please ask to be referred to someone who can discuss your long distance charges.

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