One Million Dollars Earned (and lost) through VoIP Hacking

Updated: January 07, 2011

Edwin Andrew Pena has pleaded guilty to a hacking scam that profited him $1 million by selling over 10 million minutes of VoIP calls to consumers and businesses that he delivered by piggybacking off third-party resources. The original scam took place more than four years ago but Pena was only brought to trial last year.

Pena and his cohort, Robert Moore, routed the calls over the networks of telecommunications providers, using brute-force attacks to deduce the security telephone prefixes needed to gain access to the networks. They rerouted the attacks through the computers of third parties to avoid attracting attention. These vulnerable computers were identified using over six million scans from a single AT&T broadband connection over a period of five months, according to the prosecutors. The hackers were ultimately able to sell calls for rates as low as four-tenths of a cent per minute.

Pena made away with a profit of over a million; Moore was paid $20,000 for his services and was sentenced to a two-year prison term. Moore, originally sentenced with conspiracy to commit computer fraud, has completed his term and was released last year. Pena, however, was only apprehended last year in Mexico and faces a maximum of 25 years in federal prison and fines of at least $50,000. He has been charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and unauthorized access to a protected computer.

Featured Research
  • 15 Traits of a Good Phone System

    While each marketed model has its own host of bells and whistles, when it comes down to it, for you to select the best phone system for your business, focus on little more than these 15 traits! more

  • 2017 Business VoIP Features

    If you’re considering an investment into a new VoIP system (or upgrading an old one), it’s important to understand what features are available and which ones your business will actually need. Especially if you want to keep costs at a minimum. more

  • What To Do When Your VoIP Contract Expires

    Automatically renewing your VoIP contract is a mistake. The VoIP landscape has been changing rapidly, and it pays to review all of your options before committing to another contract. more

  • VoIP Brings Big Benefits to Small Businesses

    If you run a small to midsized business and you're still relying on a traditional phone system, you need to rethink things. VoIP offers most businesses, regardless of the size, huge benefits. For small businesses, it unlocks the opportunity to have an enterprise-level communication system without the traditional expenses. more

  • [Infographic] How UC Can Improve Employee Productivity

    If you’re interested in a straightforward way to improve the productivity of your employees, it's time to consider adopting a Unified Communications (UC) strategy. more