The headlines are peppered with stories at the moment of News International’s phone hacking scandal.
Most of us would consider ourselves immune to this practice, as it seems to be reserved for gossip-hunting and sensationalist column filling. However, phone hacking, or ‘phreaking’ as it’s known in the communications world, is far more commonplace than you would think, with the UK one of the top five most targeted places in the world. Phreakers tap into phone systems, and use the lines to make their own calls. The victim is completely unaware that this has taken place until their bill arrives – and it is their responsibility to pay what could be as much as 100 times their normal one!
Phreaking costs businesses in the UK £1.5 billion per annum, with the cost of the crime increasing by 15% each year. The average cost of a phreaking attack is £10000 – five times more costly than credit card fraud. Phreakers usually strike during weekends and bank holidays when detection is least likely; and worst of all, once the criminals have got into the phone system once, they can do it again and again.
ICS Communications, leaders in the provision of ‘Control Phreak’ a piece of software that protects phone lines from hacking, recently conducted a survey, and were astonished with the results. Whilst 72% of the business respondents spend money on security for their computer systems, a massive 79% don’t spend a penny on telephone security, leaving them wide open to phreaking attacks.
Control Phreak costs a mere £699 to install, and is available from ICS Communications: www.icscomms.co.uk
For more information contact Gary Cannon, Marketing Manager, iCS Communications