‘Phreaking’ is a term coined to explain the close investigation of telephone communications and networks, usually related to that of hacking – ‘explore and exploit’. Although originally, it was a term meant for someone who enjoyed exploring, playing with or learning about computers, it has grown synonymous with a negative hacking nature, spawning a multi-million pound battle.
The cost of this hacking, the Communications Fraud Control Department, believes to run up at £40 billion per year. AT+T were stung with an individual hacking with nearly a £1.2 million loss whereas companies of all sizes can still be rung up with a considerable debt; from £100 to £100,000 with an average of £16,000 per business hit.
It’s not to say this is an un-winnable war…
‘Control Phreak’, has been a highly effective weapon against the activity that uses a fully automatic PABX firewall. This firewall is used to stop telephone hackers (or ‘Phreakers’) from defrauding telecommunication companies: making expensive international calls and landing unsuspecting companies with massive bills, fueling organised crime and terrorism and putting company and national security at risk are just some of the factors that can be fought against.
‘Control Freak’ is the original (and still one of very few) firewalls that offer protection and prevention against Phreak activity with 3 years under it of technological improvements. The firewall can even offer levels of security in not just critical voice infrastructure, but data – in which veteran Phreakers can engage and, as SecureLogix put; ‘pretty much have their way with the electronic infrastructure of an enterprise’.
As long as there are telephones there will be phone phreaks. Techniques have changed over the last 40 years where it first emerged, but the elemental urge to understand and explore the telephone network seems to be deeply rooted; on many occasions for monetary reward, usually at the expense illegally to someone else.