Monday, October 20, 2014

Phone Hackers Dial and Redial to Steal Billions

By NICOLE PERLROTH, NYT
OCT. 19, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — Bob Foreman’s architecture firm ran up a $166,000 phone bill in a single weekend last March. But neither Mr. Foreman nor anyone else at his seven-person company was in the office at the time.

“I thought: ‘This is crazy. It must be a mistake,’ ” Mr. Foreman said.

It wasn’t. Hackers had broken into the phone network of the company, Foreman Seeley Fountain Architecture, and routed $166,000 worth of calls from the firm to premium-rate telephone numbers in Gambia, Somalia and the Maldives. It would have taken 34 years for the firm to run up those charges legitimately, based on its typical phone bill, according to a complaint it filed with the Federal Communications Commission.

The firm, in Norcross, Ga., was the victim of an age-old fraud that has found new life now that most corporate phone lines run over the Internet.

(More here.)

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