Phishing with your VoIP Service

Anyone who’s gone fishing knows it only takes one bite to get a fish caught on a hook. Once stuck in their mouth, it’s extremely difficult to remove the hook without inflicting serious pain. This analogy works well when you consider cyber crime. If you bite the bait set by hackers and cyber criminals, you’re hooked. This has become so common that phishing with VoIP is being called vishing, but for the sake of this article, we’ll still refer to it as phishing. We’ll go over how phishing works, potential modes of phishing attacks, and the ways in which VoIP can help you avoid getting hooked.

Basics of Phishing
Phishing is a way cyber criminals can gain access to private information online. They send you a voicemail or email that appears to be sent from a financial institution for which you belong. You are told there is a problem with your account and you need to provide personal data in order to fix the problem. Once you give up this information, they can use it as they see fit. If they gain access to a credit card or bank account, they can spend all your money. Those who provide social security numbers risk identity theft. Anything you send them will most likely be used for their gain and profit.

Types of Phishing

1. Voicemail
You will receive a voicemail that claims to be from your Internet banking department informing you that someone has tried to alter your password. You are asked to call a certain phone number and provide credentials for your existing account, usually things like account number, password, and phone number.

2. Email
An email arrives from an online company such as eBay, PayPal, or Amazon expressing irregular activity on your account. You are told your account has been frozen until you provide your password and other account information for verification.

3. Phone Call
When you answer the phone, a pre-recorded message states there has been suspicious or possibly fraudulent activities associated with your bank account. You are asked to call back and provide specific information to resolve the issue. Sometimes the recording says your account is temporarily limited until the problem is fixed. The most commonly requested pieces of information are bank numbers and bank pins.

Phishing is Easier with VoIP
VoIP technology has made Internet communications easier and more efficient, but it’s also made cyber crime more accessible. VoIP features that allow you to alter outgoing caller ID make it easier for online thieves to hide their true identities. The mobility of VoIP features is great for businesses, but it also increases the ability of hackers to move around at will, finding new victims as they go. If desired, you can create and destroy VoIP numbers in a matter of minutes to hide their trail of cyber crime. VoIP also allows phishers to send a single message to thousands of individuals at once, exponentially increasing their profit potential.

Avoid Phishing with VoIP
The best way to avoid getting hooked is to have strict rules regarding information-sharing processes. Inform all employees about the possible modes of attack, and what to do if they encounter one. Employees must never click on a suspicious email, or divulge private or company information without proper consent.