The day begins and ends. Do you know where your unused VoIP (Voice-Over-IP) minutes are?
That’s a fair and urgent question we all must ask ourselves after a Florida businessman down in Miami is accused of stealing the unused minutes of unsuspecting VoIP customers and reselling them to pocket a cool profit of $1 million dollars.
VoIP technology allows people to carry phone conversations over the Internet, and usually at rates much cheaper than the regular phone companies. The VoIP company that I use, for example, allows me to talk within the United States for 1.8 cents a minute. A lot of overseas destinations, including China, cost between 2 to 5 cents a minute.
The alleged crime in question involves hacking into a company’s network and using its IP connection to route the stolen VoIP calls without paying any network fees.
The Florida man is accused of selling 10 million phone minutes and is facing 20 years in jail and a fine of $250,000 if the charges are proven to be true.
Seems like after the ubiquitous e-mail viruses, IM spam and denial-of-service attacks, now it’s VoIP’s turn to bear the brunt of these criminal attacks to scam the consumers and held businesses hostage.
Seshu Madhavapeddy is the chief executive of Sipera Systems of Richardson, Texas, which markets security applications to protect against similar VoIP attacks. Quoted by eWeek.com, Madhavapeddy said the threat is very real and the people “need to know that older data-oriented security systems will not adequately protect their VoIP infrastructure.”
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