Help! my phone’s been hacked

Hacking in some form has been around for a long time, even before the internet. Due to the length of time it has been around, there have also been many security measures developed to protect systems from being hacked.

The first rule is to have your VoIP services installed correctly and many times that will come down to choosing the right provider.

Nevertheless, it is worth knowing the signs that your system has been compromised.

The one sign which you would no doubt notice immediately is your VoIP account is suddenly much larger than before.  Now it may be you have actively run a campaign and more calls have been made but if you can’t account for the increased bill for any logical reason, hacking needs to be considered and action taken.  Each number in your VoIP service will have a history which you can check and if there are international calls in particular, that is your best clue.  In this case a hacker would need to know user IDs and passwords, so maybe they aren’t the “strength” they need to be and they need to be changed immediately.

The call history should be checked regularly, as any strange call patterns can also indicate a hacker has been at work.  Again a layered authentication process for making calls should be in place and if this hasn’t been done, make it a priority.

Suspicious antivirus messages occurring when using VoIP, just like any other internet activity, should not be ignored, they should be reported and most importantly don’t click on them or open them at all.  Your IT support needs to find the source immediately and shut it down.  Using layers of security, a firewall, anti-virus and anti-malware software and passwords should always be used to protect the system from this type of hack attack.

When using VoIP or the internet and searches being made are going off to strange destinations or there are unusual toolbar options or browser extensions appearing, this could also be hacking evidence.

Make sure all users log out of administrative areas when they are finished, don’t leave these open and unattended.  This is an area likely to contain the most sensitive information of a business and where it is most vulnerable.

Microphones and webcams are potential avenues for hackers to use.  If these items suddenly come to life it could be a hacker.  Shut down them down, disable them and have your system thoroughly checked for other intrusions.

One should not be paranoid however, proper layered security, a reliable provider and regular system checks should be enough to keep a system safe.
You also need to ask yourself if you are a likely target and the chances are there are much larger fish to catch out in the internet.

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