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November 12, 2018

How We Detect and Prevent Phone Scams

Although phone system hacking is less common than other forms of hacking, those on the receiving end know how devastating it can be, especially to businesses.

How We Detect and Prevent Phone Scams

Have you ever been hacked or know someone who has a hacking horror story?

Since 2015 there have been tens of thousands of reports involving fraudulent activity in Australia, with damages amounting to millions of dollars worth of bills for unsuspecting Australians. Estimates indicate that the global figure for hacking is around $US46bn. This is close to the annual global revenue of the telecommunications industry itself!

Although phone system hacking is less common than other forms of hacking, those on the receiving end know how devastating it can be, especially to businesses. It is becoming increasingly difficult to prevent hackers so having a service provider equipped to deal with network breaches is essential to keeping your business protected.

Continual Development of Anti-Fraud Software

At ECN, we pride ourselves on our reputation for detecting and preventing fraudulent activity on our network. We have developed software that protects our customers from phone system hacks and are committed to making our customers’ security our highest priority.

Phone hackers infiltrate networks in various ways. Typically, a hacker will gain access to a phone network and then plot some sort of scheme, such as setting up a proxy website offering international calls at discount rates. The hackers receive money from visitors to the site and complete their calls through the compromised PBX, leaving the PBX owner to foot the bill.

Case Study

We recently encountered suspicious activity in one of our customer’s networks, a breach we were quick to neutralise. While investigating the incident we learnt from the customer that this wasn’t the first time their network had been hacked.

Before switching to ECN the customer experienced a nightmare encounter with a phone system hacker. Their network was compromised in some way, possibly through a PC on their network or a poorly configured router, allowing the attacker to gain access to their phone. Once the hacker was in they started making international calls using the customer’s phone service. The hacker subsequently racked up over $47000 worth of international calls in a matter of hours in the middle of the night. With no protection in place there were no failsafes to prevent the hack.

After this incident the customer switched their phone service to ECN based on our strong reputation for fraud protection. We made protecting their system - along with all of our customers - our highest priority. The hackers attempted to hack their system again, going back for more after having success the first time. Though this time they encountered the ECN Machine Learning Anti-Fraud Detection System.

Local Team of Security Experts

This technology - designed and developed by our team in Toowong, Brisbane - works in a similar way to how banks monitor credit card fraud and blocks the service if suspicious activity occurs. Our system monitors call records for anomalies 24/7, detects suspicious activity, and subsequently blocks international calls on that voice service.

After suspicious calls are detected and blocked, we then immediately notify the customer of that action via email and provide them with sample calls for their records. If the calls were in fact legitimate, the customer just needs to notify us and we switch the service straight back on.

In this case, the hacker managed to make only 10 calls before we detected suspicious behaviour in the network and blocked their system during the night. The customer was thrilled knowing the switch to ECN ended up saving them potentially tens of thousands of dollars, and gave them peace of mind knowing their system was protected.

Software is Flexible and User-Defined

At ECN we are constantly working on detection algorithms and have plans for future versions that will enable user-defined rules that will give the user full control over the types of calls that are allowed and the frequency before they are deemed suspicious.

If you would like to know more about our approach to fraud detection and how the ECN Anti-Fraud Detection software can work for you or your business, please give us a call on 1300 790 111 or visit our website at www.ecn.net.au