Attacks/Breaches
12/12/2008
05:12 PM
50%
50%

AT&T, T-Mobile Fined For Voice-Mail Security

After a string of high-profile hacks, the Los Angeles district attorney has filed an injunction against the carriers for overstating the security of their voice-mail systems.

AT&T and T-Mobile have paid fines and agreed to stop advertising that their voice-mail systems are safe from hackers.

In a permanent injunction filed in a Los Angeles court Thursday, District Attorney Steve Cooley said the wireless operators were overstating how secure their voice mails are. The settlements are the culmination of year-long investigation that was launched after multiple complaints of unauthorized voice-mail access, including some from celebrities Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.

"Our investigators found that cellular providers who claimed their systems were safe from such sabotage were wrong," said Cooley in a statement. "Cell phones purchased by undercover investigators were easily hacked into, enabling the voicemail to be changed at will by use of the spoofing system."

The district attorney said hacking into the voice mails allowed messages to be changed or erased, which could lead to "havoc." Investigators used TelTech Systems' SpoofCard software to break into voice mails. The software lets users perform caller ID spoofing, and it had been used to break into voice-mail accounts that don't require passwords.

Neither carrier admitted any wrongdoing, but AT&T agreed to pay $59,300, while T-Mobile will pay $25,000. Both companies said they are committed to user security, and are encouraging subscribers to set up advanced passwords for more protection.

"These cases illustrate how deeply new technology and misuse of it can affect the lives of consumers," Cooley said. "The software program that was advertised as 'legal in 50 states' was not legal in California and some other states."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
E-Commerce Security: What Every Enterprise Needs to Know
The mainstream use of EMV smartcards in the US has experts predicting an increase in online fraud. Organizations will need to look at new tools and processes for building better breach detection and response capabilities.
Flash Poll
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join Dark Reading community editor Marilyn Cohodas in a thought-provoking discussion about the evolving role of the CISO.