Call phreaking costs organisations across the UK £1.5 billion each year

1 min read Networks & Network Services
Comment by Manish Sablok, Head of Marketing, CNE Europe, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

"Everyone's acutely aware of credit card fraud and the enormous impact it has on businesses as well as us as individuals. But there is another, less well known kind of fraud that costs British business £1.5 billion annually – five times more than credit card."

There are some that say that call phreaking is the telecommunications industry's best kept secret because at the moment, victims have to pay for the fraudulent calls. The UK has been identified by the CFCA (Communications Fraud Control Association) as one of the top five destinations targeted by phreakers – telephone hackers and toll fraudsters.

Call phreakers are often highly skilled, highly organised, highly determined and organised gangs that hack into an organisation's telecommunications system leaving them with a phone bill up to 100 times higher than normal.

"We at Alcatel-Lucent take the issue of call phreaking extremely seriously, which is why we've partnered with Callista to make their new phreaking prevention technology – Control Phreak – available to our reseller channel and customers operating across a wide range of markets. Phreakers usually strike after hours, at the weekend or on public holidays when detection is least likely. So take, for example, a college or school: it could be a prime target because of the long holidays when call spikes might go unnoticed."

Priory Preparatory School, an independent day school in Banstead, Surrey, has taken steps to make sure it isn't the victim of a phreaking attack. It went live recently with a new Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCX Office Rich Communication Edition (RCE) system to improve communication with parents during term time and in the school holidays. And, before the long summer holiday begins in July, Priory Prep will also take advantage of the Control Phreak solution.

"We are committed to helping organisations protect themselves against this very real – and very damaging threat. The technology which we use provides automatic protection around the clock against toll fraud, identifying and killing all illegal phone traffic whilst allowing all legitimate traffic to flow without any monitoring or restriction."