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Government's phone system hacked, reveals report from the State's financial watchdog

category dublin | sci-tech | news report author Thursday October 02, 2003 04:15author by hj - ex-tp Report this post to the editors

Government's phone system hacked, reveals report from the State's financial watchdog .

Anyone got an ireland.com account ??
Can they post the full article?? (Wednesday's Irish Times)

The Irish Times says that the C&AG report has also revealed that telephone fraudsters hacked in to the internal phone system of the Department of Social and Family Affairs last year. The hackers made nearly EUR300,000 worth of calls over two months. In response to the Comptroller's queries, the accounting officer of the Department said it had "reacted swiftly to the intrusion."

Related Link: http://www.enn.ie/frontpage/news-9376852.html
author by Anthonypublication date Thu Oct 02, 2003 18:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't have access to the online paper so this is just from memory.

The PBX system (a private telephone network, the telephone equivalent of a local area network) of the Department of Social and Family Affairs was "compromised" for a couple of months over the summer. It was their account manager in Eircom who spotted the anomalous usage patterns. Many of the phone calls were made over weekends and many were made to countries in Africa and East Asia. Apparently, the in-house bean-counters didn't pay too much attention to the figures even though the figure for July was over 200,000 when it would normally be around 120,000. IIRC, a facility for engineers to access the system remotely for maintenace and diagnostics was exploited. The fraud squad weren't too optimistic about succesfully tracking down and prosecuting the culprits as in the majority of such cases, the attack comes from outside the country.

Terminology: The Irish Times described the system as being "hacked". Hacking is when a programmer modifies programme code and a hacker would be someone who gets a buzz from learning about programming and computer systems and putting that knowledge to creative use.
Cracking is when she bypasses security to gain unauthorised access to a computer system. Phreaking is the name for the same activity applied to telephone networks.

author by maalox - the little grey boxes with flashing lightspublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 13:09author email maalox at safe-mail dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Hacking is when a programmer modifies programme code "

Unless you get paid for it, in which case it's called "software engineering"

author by Colmpublication date Tue Oct 07, 2003 15:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

to be more accurate, hacking is modifying a program's code without source-code/whatever from whoever wrote it.

 
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