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
  • The Business Case for Updating an Aging Phone System

    You may think your business phone system is functional, but is it fully modern? In recent years, telecommunications technology has made major strides. A system that was perfectly serviceable ten years ago—or even five years ago—is now very out-of-date. more

  • [Infographic] 15 Questions to Ask When Selecting a VoIP Provider

    Deciding which phone system is right for your business can be difficult. With our VoIP technology blueprint, discover the top 15 questions you should ask VoIP vendors before you make a buying decision. more

  • 2017 Business VoIP Buyer's Guide

    In 2017, more business will transition to a VoIP phone system. If you are among them—or if you’ll be upgrading an existing VoIP system—you need to learn about the latest technologies and market trends. more

  • 2017 Business VoIP Trends

    VoIP and UC (Unified Communications) technology is advancing all of the time. In order to reap the many business benefits of VoIP, you need to learn about industry trends, including text messaging, WebRTC, Unified Communications as a Service, and more. more

  • The New 2016 IP Phone System Comparison Guide

    Choosing VoIP over traditional solutions makes sense for your business and your budget. But choosing the best VoIP solution isn't always easy. Our guide is an essential road map in your search for the best VoIP solution for your business. more