What Happens When Your Office Phone Gets Hacked

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Some of us have to write down our voicemail pin number somewhere so we can check messages on our office phone. Others have a knack for memorization and can access voicemail with our eyes closed.

And then there are those who say forget it, and don’t put any pin on the voicemail access.

It might seem like a little thing. Maybe it’s a relaxed office. Maybe multiple people need to access that phone and a pin would just complicate things.

But whatever the reason, ignoring the vital step of setting up a pin can be a danger for your phone system, your office, and your customers.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems are just as vulnerable to hackers as any computer or internet-connected device. There are plenty of systems in place to help protect your phone line, including at the service provider and in your internal system. It’s because of these multiple layers that VoIP is still the best option for business phone lines. However, all of these protections need to be in place for your phone system to truly be secure- and that includes your individual PIN.

Recently a client contacted Phone Connection because they had an issue with their phone system. It had switched to Spanish.

When our technicians arrived they learned that two of the employees had never set up PINs for their voicemail access. Not only did a hacker get in and switch the entire system from English to Spanish, they also changed the voicemail greeting system.

Instead of hearing the name of the company they had called for and a friendly reminder to leave a message, callers would now be greeted with a static-ridden song from Linkin Park and random background noise.

This is the most common problem with phone hackers– pranking. At first glance this story is downright hilarious. But the time it took the business to call for help, reset the system, record new greetings, and put in place new PIN numbers where there were none, took away from the time they could have been making money. In addition, the time that the phone system was out of order prevented clients from being able to access that business.

Of course, this incident was minor in comparison with other VoIP security threats. Phone hackers can disrupt a line for the sake of extortion, access personal information, or eavesdrop on phone calls.

In the end, our techs were able to correct the problems caused by the intruder and help the client to prevent future attacks.

Remember to set your PIN. It is your friend and it will help keep out those who are, as Linkin Park says, “confusing what is real”.

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