Phreaker calls buddies overseas on U.S. government dime

U.S. FEMA investigating voice mail hole that allowed hacker to make hundreds of calls overseas.

Someone broke into a U.S. Homeland Security Department phone system and made 400 calls to the Middle East and Asia, racking up $12,000 in long-distance charges, The Associated Press reported.

The phone phreaker got into the voice mail system of the Federal Emergency Management Agency last weekend and had free calling to places like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen for at least two days before someone at Sprint noticed, according to FEMA spokesman Tom Olshanski.

It appears that a hole was left open by a contractor during an upgrade of the voice mail system, but further details were not released.

Tags:
Security
About the author

Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service, and the Associated Press. E-mail Elinor.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
Tech industry's high-flying 2014
Uber's tumultuous ups and downs in 2014 (pictures)
The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
A roomy range from LG (pictures)
This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)