Phone Sleuths Are Cutting Off The Hackers

Once burned, twice smart. After a hacker broke into the phone system of the Christian Broadcasting Network and used it to make $40,000 worth mf calls to Pakistan, the network's vice-president for information services fought back. Paul D. Flanagan programmed the company's phone switch, or PBX, to block all calls to Pakistan as well as the Caribbean and other areas favored by hackers--often drug dealers or hoodlums who sell cut-rate calls to immigrants. The program also cuts off anybody who repeatedly calls from outside trying to make calls through CBN's PBX. Since the first incident in 1987, hackers have tried to enter Flanagan's PBX twice--and failed both times. "I think we've licked this problem," he says.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.