‘Has my VoIP been hacked?’ VoIP Hacking: What to Spot
Here at VIP VoIP, VoIP security is a top priority and we work with our clients to make sure they know their systems and data are in safe hands. We monitor our systems constantly to spot any potential hacks but it is always good to see hacker signs yourself so you are aware of it as well as your provider. It could save your business a lot of hassle.
Depending on your business, you may regularly check the conversations that take place on your telephone systems, especially if confidentiality and call quality needs to be strictly maintained but sometimes it’s not always required. One thing you should always check is your call history to see if there are any unusual call patterns. Check numbers to spot any phones you don’t recognise and see if someone did in fact make a valid call to that number. One way of determining whether calls are being placed or to stop them all together is to geographically limit calls which allows you to monitor where calls are going to, a clear indication of a hack if you’re a solely UK based business.
Fake Antivirus Messages
If you or your colleagues’ computers suddenly get bombarded with Antivirus messages or other pop-up spam, it may be an indicator that your VoIP has been hacked. It could also be a case of other internet systems hacking so it is best to check with both your VoIP provider and your IT Services provider so you can pinpoint the problem. This can be an early indicator of something going wrong with your systems so don’t click off the fake messages, get them checked out asap to limit any damage done.
Internet Searches Redirected & Browser Changes
Another tell-tale sign that your VoIP may have been compromised is that internet searches are resulting in a redirection to a site nothing to do with your original query. It can also be an indicator if you are seeing more pop-up advertisements or banners on sites you wouldn’t normally see them on. One more think to look out for are changes to your browser and mysterious tool bars that appear or fake update warnings. If you are not one hundred percent sure of the source or need for any of these, just click ‘no’ and talk to your IT systems help and VoIP provider.
Bills Increase Suddenly
This is one of the most obvious results of a VoIP system being hacked. If your bill suddenly skyrockets but your calling rate hasn’t changed then it is quite likely you have been compromised. If you haven’t had any warning signs, then this may be the first one for you unfortunately and it is likely you may have to pay for these charges even though you have not caused them. Have a sudden hike in calls being placed?, then a good VoIP provider will warn you of the unusual activity on your account before the cost gets too high.
Webcam & Microphone Activation
As VoIP uses call-based data, then one of the more specific hacks may be to steal confidential information rather than your hard-earned money. Some people may infiltrate a VoIP account to listen to and extract information about your services. A tell-tale sign to spot this type of hacker’s plan is to check that when not using your VoIP system, your microphone, webcam (if using digital conferencing) and VoIP portal are not activated or still logged in. If voice and visuals are activating on their own accord, then it is likely someone unwelcome is listening in on your calls.
How to protect yourself from VoIP Hacking
There are several easy things you can do to limit your chances of an attack but of utmost importance is to educate yourself on how VoIP works and protect yourself with strong VoIP security.
- Limit Costings – You can ask your VoIP provider to cap the amount of calls made and the amount you wish to spend each week/month. Not only will this stop a hacker rinsing your accounts clean, it means you will also have a better handle on your communication finances.
- Limit Geography – If your calls are based in just one country or maybe just a few countries you can limit the geographical area in which you can call. Though it won’t necessarily stop hackers in your target countries, it will limit any from outside of your chosen area.
- Restrict times – You can limit when your calls are made, so limit them if you only use your VoIP system during business hours. A call at 3:00am will then definitely be suspicious.
- Turn It Off – Make sure when not in use to turn off your microphone, webcam and log out of your VoIP portal. This is good practice to limit potential attacks.
- Call your Provider – When in doubt about spam like emails or phone calls, always talk to your IT services provider and your VoIP provider; they are the experts and will be able to spot if it’s a vishing scam (Voice phishing scam). Never give out personal or financial information without verification that it is the right business and that you are even required to do this.
- Choose The Right Provider – Make sure you choose the right VoIP provider. A company may have the best pricing but what is more important is that they are reliable with security as a top priority. A great provider will have the strongest measures in place to protect your system and your data. All of the server protocols will be directed to create a strong network and they will have the expertise to monitor and measure any potential problems before even you yourself know there has been an issue.
You should also have a firm understanding of your VoIP systems and be able to spot any potential hacks but the first line of defence will always be to use an expert VoIP provider which will prevent most if not all hackers from getting their hands on your VoIP network.