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Telecom Namibia blocks calls to 17 countries to stop PABX hacking

Telecom Namibia blocks calls to 17 countries to stop PABX hacking

National telecommunications operator, Telecom Namibia, has said that the call routes to 17 countries has been temporarily blocked, meaning no calls can be made from Namibia to these destinations due to the unexpected recent rise in PABX fraud through hacking.

Corporate Communications and Public Relations Head, Oiva Angula on Monday said destinations affected by the fraud include Angola, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Somalia, Senegal, Uganda, Guinea, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Sao Tome, Papua New Guinea, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cuba, Guyana, Albania, Macedonia and Monaco.

Angula explained that PABX fraud, now known as ‘Phreaking,’ is when hackers fraudulently access a company’s PABX system and use it to make expensive long distance calls. For the month of February so far, Namibian companies have incurred losses of more than N$6 million due to the activities.

He said criminal phreakers figure out how to access PABXs owned by businesses and then sell long-distance calling capacities provided by these systems to the public.

While this type of fraud has been around for a very long time, it seems that the fraudsters are now back trying to hit businesses in Namibia,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Angula said their PABX technicians are working diligently to assist PABX customers not to become the victims to these criminal phreakers and has requested all those who have experienced such fraud/hacking to contact their service provider to rectify their PABX systems. Angula pointed out, however, that the company that owns the PABX system, is still liable to settle the bill for the fraudulent calls.

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