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VoIP theft of service: Understanding its purpose and impact

VoIP theft of service: Understanding its purpose and impact

Did you know that theft of service is one of the most common types of fraud that affects Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems? VoIP - Theft of Service is a serious issue that impacts businesses’ VoIP networks and can result in significant financial losses.  Proactive detection, monitoring and fundamental VoIP security structures are key areas Beringer Technology Group's team monitors, to combat such dangers to critical business functions.

What is theft of service?

VoIP - Theft of Service is the most common type of VoIP fraud. This involves the theft of your organization’s VoIP account credentials, such as usernames and passwords among other account details, through:

  1. Eavesdropping
  2. Introducing malware into the given system

Once cybercriminals gain access to your accounts, they can freely make phone calls or change your call plans, directly affecting and running up the cost of your VoIP bill. Thus this attack is referred to as “subscription fraud.”

Furthermore, cybercriminals may use the stolen data to carry out other fraudulent activities. Through Theft of Service, infiltrators can look to flood your VoIP network with promotional calls, like spam calls or junk email, via an attack called Spam over Internet Telephony (known as SPIT). Once your communications network has been infiltrated, they might, for example, broadcast unsolicited messages or advertisements over your VoIP system. In turn, such actions can cause a significant impact on your business operations by keeping users from completing inbound or outbound calls.

How can you avoid theft of service?

Preventing VoIP theft of service includes fundamental practices often encountered with the use of technology in contemporary society.  Below are several sound, technical preventative measures to implement:

  1. Complex, secure passwords. Passwords are recommended to be at least 10–12 characters long, consisting of a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. For added security, use passphrases, which are sentence-like strings of words, as they can be more difficult to crack.  For more on this topic, feel free to reference our previous article: Complex Passwords are not the most secure passwords | Security | Beringer Technology Group where our team takes a deep dive into this concept!
  1. Install firmware patches for your VoIP phones and infrastructure regularly and keep your antivirus software up to date.
  1. Utilize fraudulent call routing detection and encryption software.
  1. Set up an enterprise-grade virtual private network (VPN) for employees working from home/remotely. A VPN are a great resource for encrypting incoming and outgoing traffic.  Also, there is no need to compromise call quality through this practice.
  1. Monitor your organization’s call logs.  Unusual trends or behaviors are key indicators of suspicious activity. These can be seen in the form of higher-than-usual call volumes or calls made during off-hours.

Questions?  Give us a call today!

VoIP is an essential business communication tool, so it pays to learn about and set safeguards against theft of service to avoid its impacts on your company’s operations. Allow Beringer Technology Group to provide more information on VoIP system security and best practices by reaching out today.

Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution also provides expert Managed IT ServicesBackup and Disaster RecoveryCloud Based Computing, Email Security Implementation and Training,  Unified Communication Solutions, and Cybersecurity Risk Assessment.