How Businesses Can Protect Against Phone Hackers

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( — April 7, 2015) Carver, MA — It may not grab the headlines as a credit card breaches, but phone hacking has quickly become public enemy number one for small- to medium-sized businesses who don’t take the precautions needed to protect their phone system. If you’re only paying attention to your phone expenses when the bill arrives every month–like practically all people and companies do–the costs of these hacks can be in the tens of thousands of dollars before you catch on. 

“How it works is almost too simple. Hackers gain access to voicemail boxes or VoIP credentials and then are able to set up to forward or originate calls to premium numbers, mostly international, through which the hacker receives a cut of the charges collected,” said John Adams, president of AdamsComm, Inc. a Carver, MA-based provider of IP telephone systems and technology. “One of the most clever, phone-hacking schemes is to then take your company’s phone credentials and use them for calling cards.” 

 So, what can you do? Adams recommends a number of precautionary steps prevent hackers from accessing your phone system. For starters, have a strong voicemail passcode. Avoid using generic or default passcodes like 1234, 4321 or 0000 or passcodes that the same numbers as the phone or extension number. Also a 6-digit passcode is more difficult to crack than a 4-digit code. 

Business owners also want to ensure that their VOIP server is behind a strong firewall. Hackers will often gain access to your system as a remote VOIP extension. This allows them to place calls from your phone lines as if they were an employee of the company. By installing your VOIP server behind your firewall, you will help eliminate this threat. Also, check with your VOIP server vendor to make sure that your system has the latest software upgrades from the manufacturer.

Some other steps Adams recommends include removing un-used mailboxes in your system as employees leave the company. He also recommends setting up voicemail accounts to automatically lock after a certain number of invalid attempts to ensure the hackers don’t have an unlimited number of tries to break into your system.

“Probably the simplest way to stop the hackers is to disable international calls by default and then have a special authorization code for those people at your first who occasionally need to make international calls,” said Adams. “What really makes most companies vulnerable to hackers is a lack of awareness, that it could happen to them.”

AdamsComm offers customized design, implementation and support of IP telephone systems and applications, voice mail systems, call centers and infrastructure cabling for small-to-mid-sized businesses. This service includes steps to prevent hackers from breaking into your phone system. AdamsComm, Inc. also provides a free audit of phone systems for non-clients.  The company has provided effective communications solutions to over 500 clients including Mutual Bank, Emerald Physicians and Rising Tide Charter Schools. 

Located at 128 Main Street, Suite 11, in Carver, Massachusetts, AdamsComm, Inc. serves clients on the South Shore, Cape Cod, Greater Boston, and Metrowest. In addition to 24/7 on-call service, Adams can be onsite, as needed, within four hours. 

For more information on the new IT division and AdamsComm, Inc.’s services, you can call 508-866-4086 or visit