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Toll Fraud


Toll Fraud

PBX Hacking or otherwise commonly known as Toll Fraud, continues to be the global scourge of the telecommunications sector, recent reports from the CFCA estimate the fraud value to be in excess of $8bn per annum.

Commonly regarded as white collar crime, decades of investigations remain open ended, leaving the environment ripe for repeat offenders.

The first symptom of PBX hacking generally occurs when the carrier notifies their client that their network is reporting surges in call volumes to international telephone numbers. At this stage, the carrier advises the enterprise to contact their PBX maintainer and have them lock down or shut off the PBX.



The financial consequences of PBX Hacking generally kick off a frantic blame game, ultimately:

  • The enterprise will demand that someone should be held accountable.
  • The Carrier in question is legally entitled to collect their fees and the enterprise is legally responsible to pay the bill.
  • Legal advice sought by the enterprise generally encourages them not to challenge a case that they cannot win.
  • The VAR argues that they cannot be held accountable for security breaches because they configured the PBX to their clients specification while also providing self- administration tools and training.
  • The Police struggle to investigate due to lack of cross border regulation and international language barriers, resulting in zero prosecutions.

The vast majority of reported cases result in:

  • Very few prosecutions
  • Accountability is never established
  • Enterprise has to agree a settlement with the carrier
  • The overall experience leaves the enterprise highly frustrated, financially exposed and vulnerable to further attacks.
  • Trustworthy relationship established between Carrier, VAR and client are often strained beyond breaking point.


The open world of unified communications (UC) and mobility applications increases the threat of hackers accessing your PBX system. Active PBX system features such as unified mobility, unified messaging, SIP account registration, call divert and conference facilities enhance the overall possibilities for a criminal to hack a PBX system.