This week’s blogs revolve around the scary truth of Voice Hacking.  It’s not just a spooky story folks. We’ll tell you all you need to know about this real nightmare.

Click here if you missed Voice Hacking Part 1 “20 Things You Must Do to Prevent Voice Hacking”.


As you know, Voice Hacking can result in significant, unauthorized charges billed directly to your account. As a business you are responsible for maintaining the security of your hardware and in most cases, you will be held liable for all charges incurred on your account. However, there is also a level of responsibility that exists for the carrier. As the “service provider” for their clients (you, the customer), they should have safeguards in place to ensure that proactive notification triggers are in place should there be an unusual increase in usage. Unusually high phone traffic should be treated by your carrier no differently than high usage is treated by a credit card company. If a credit card begins to register unusual or suspect charges, the credit card company shuts it down as a preventative measure. The same SHOULD be true of your telecom carrier as it relates to long distance charges.

However, these safeguards don’t always protect against Voice Hackers. Read on for the Must-Do’s if you suspect Voice Hacking is Happening and How To Handle Unauthorized Charges.

What To Do If You Suspect Voice Hacking is Happening?

If, despite your best anti-fraud efforts, you suspect – or actually detect – tampering, that’s the time to take action. Unlike credit card fraud, there is no limit to the potential for loss and complete liability in the event of toll fraud. And since toll fraud charges can mount fast, you can’t afford to lose a minute. Your first two calls upon suspecting or identifying fraud should be:

  1.  To your equipment vendor.
  2. To your long distance provider.

Together, they can begin to pinpoint the fraud source and block further fraud attempts. Most carriers and vendors have a 24-hour hotline staffed by toll fraud security experts. Their job is to initiate immediate investigations of potential fraud in progress, help with fraud prevention and answer any fraud related questions. Do not hesitate to use them if you suspect any issues.

What Do I Do if Voice Hacking Causes Unauthorized Charges?

If all your preventative measures do not stop the hackers, and you do end up with unauthorized charges, work with your carrier to have the charges removed from your bill. In many cases, the carrier has a charge removal policy (up to a certain point) if you can prove that you took all the required steps to prevent and stop potential fraud (see prevention checklist above).

If this is not the case, and your carrier refuses to recourse the charges from your bill, you can refuse to pay the charges and file a complaint with your local PUC or the FCC. Keep in mind that this will most likely result in your carrier blocking all long distance access on your services until the matter is resolved. Always try negotiating first. In most cases, conscientious carriers are willing to work with you to resolve the issues rather than lose your business to another provider.

The Summary – Voice Hacking is Real, Not Just a Spooky Story

Now the purpose of this blog wasn’t to frighten or tell you a spooky story. Voice Hacking is real and happens every day. Now that you know all the details, make sure to follow the preventative steps above as well as keep a close eye on your voice charges – or enlist the help of a trusted expert to avoid the nightmare that is… Voice Hacking.

Click here if you missed Voice Hacking Part 1 “20 Things You Must Do to Prevent Voice Hacking”.

Renodis is the only firm in America providing professional management of businesses communications infrastructure. As a pioneer in its field, Renodis is committed to providing objective service that empowers clients to reduce the Total Cost of Telecom™, free up valuable IT and Executive resources, future-proof their technology, and gain more time for core business initiatives. Contact us to learn more.

This week’s blogs revolve around the scary truth of Voice Hacking.  It’s not just a spooky story folks. We’ll tell you all you need to know about this real nightmare and how to protect yourself.

Stay tuned for Thursdays Voice Hacking Part 2 post where we’ll cover the Must-Do’s if you suspect Voice Hacking is happening to you!


You can’t see them, but they are always there. Lurking in the shadows, hidden behind exposed wiring, programmed dialers, and sophisticated re-routing equipment. They often strike after the lights go out, when your poor unsuspecting business has settled in for the night. They are…the Voice Hackers, and they are the nightmare of every IT/Telecom System Administrator in the industry.

What is Voice Hacking you might ask? How does it happen, what do I do to protect myself, and how do I know if Voice Hacking is currently happening? Don’t be scared – read on for all the spooooooky details…

What Is Voice Hacking?

Voice Hacking is communications services fraud. Much like identity theft, it is the use and abuse of products or services with no intention of payment. Voice Hacking is a long standing, industry-wide problem that has seen a surge in recent years thanks to the access provided through IP PBX connectivity to the public internet via a company router. It can impact any business that owns or operates a PBX, Voice Mail System or Hosted Unified Communications platform. Skilled hackers gain access to these systems initially undetected and make outbound calls both domestically and internationally resulting in sizable, unauthorized charges billed to the business.

How Does Voice Hacking Happen?

A skilled hacker can compromise unprotected telecommunications equipment in a few different ways.

  1. They can call into a call center and be transferred to an open extension or the business’s voicemail system.
  2. They dial or remotely login to the system via open and unprotected system/router ports.
  3. Simply tap into exposed carrier wiring. Once they are in, they can redirect calls to anywhere in the world.
  4. More often than not, the hacker, or hacking team, will set themselves up as a thrifty service provider, offering international access at below market rates. Basically, they make money using your access and assets, and stick you with the very large, unwanted, and unplanned for toll bill.

How To Prevent Voice Hacking – 20 Must Do’s

The best way to protect your business systems from voice hacking is to plan for it. Proactively addressing this issue with your equipment vendor, or a qualified systems consultant can save time, money and lost productivity due to unplanned system lock downs. Industry experts recommend, at a minimum, the following steps to be taken. Click here to view this as a printable checklist.

  1. Change default codes and passwords immediately once a service is activated, upgraded, or added.
  2. Don’t choose or allow obvious passwords like extension number, simple number combinations, versions of the company name, etc.
  3. Educate employees on the importance of keeping codes and passwords confidential.
  4. Enforce company policy to regularly change PINs and passwords. Force password changes if necessary.
  5. Limit the number of employees with administrator privileges.
  6. Do not allow shared or group passwords.
  7. When an employee leaves the company, immediately cancel their access rights.
  8. Disable the “External Call Forwarding” feature unless specifically required by a staff member.
  9. Disable any feature not in use that may be accessed remotely.
  10. Delete any unused extensions.
  11. Disallow any “off-hook” access from within the system.
  12. Delete any unused voice mailboxes.
  13. Set password access attempts before lock-out at 3 or less.
  14. Set up “port monitoring” on your access trunks. Pay close attention to high usage in “off hours”.
  15. Secure all externally placed wiring that connects to system equipment.
  16. Keep phone system hardware in a secure place with restricted access.
  17. Ensure you have proper blocks in place for 9XX and some 8XX dialing sequences.
  18. Require access codes for International calling.
  19. Keep close tabs on your phone bill, or hire a telecom expense management company to do so.
  20. Ask if “high unbilled toll” notifications are offered by your carrier.

Stay tuned for Thursdays Voice Hacking Part 2 post where we’ll cover the Must-Do’s if you suspect Voice Hacking is happening to you!

Renodis is the only firm in America providing professional management of businesses communications infrastructure. As a pioneer in its field, Renodis is committed to providing objective service that empowers clients to reduce the Total Cost of Telecom™, free up valuable IT and Executive resources, future-proof their technology, and gain more time for core business initiatives. Contact us to learn more.

The best way to protect your business systems from voice hacking is to plan for it. Proactively addressing this issue with your equipment vendor, or a qualified systems consultant can save time, money and lost productivity due to unplanned system lock downs. Industry experts recommend, at a minimum, the following steps to be taken.

Trying to find out the best plans, features, minutes, and discounts among the carriers is enough to drive most business’ telecom departments into submission – the most dreadful of all of these complexities is international roaming.

In one such instance, an employee of a well-known company traveled internationally without notifying their company. The person racked up $5,000 worth of overages in roaming and streaming changes. Renodis was brought in to work with the carrier to help to reduce the charges, but not without significant work on both sides.

As you may have heard, T-Mobile just announced that it will drop international data and text roaming charges in more than 100 countries. Great! But what does that really mean?

What is typically done to prevent international roaming charges?

Let’s take a step back. Without the New T-Mobile plan, the way to deal with or prevent international roaming charges is to make a feature change to your international traveler’s phone plan before your travels by temporally adding an international plan or using a Brightroam device. Brightroams are an affordable device that could be activated on a short term basis (we also recommended purchasing unlocked GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) iPhones directly from Apple to activate for China use as needed).

T-Mobile International travel and roaming plan: What’s in the details?

T-Mobile has revamped its plans with the idea of keeping it simple for businesses to make the best choices when it comes to international travel.

In their Simple Choice Plans, in addition to unlimited talk, text, and data while on T-Mobile’s home network — you’re covered worldwide. Their qualifying plans include unlimited data and texting in more than 100 countries. (*See the full list at the below)

What does this mean for you?  It allows you to easily check Google Maps (handy if you’re lost abroad), check in and update social sites, and send emails without roaming changes. Netflix might be a little tough since it only provides 2G speeds. But if you want the extra speed, a one day pass for 100MB is $15, 7 day pass for 200MB is $25, and $50 for 500MB over 14 days.

So that means for International Travel:

  • Calling: 20 cents per minute in more than 100 countries*
  • Texting: Unlimited in more than 100 countries* included at no extra charge
  • Data: Unlimited in more than 100 countries* included at no extra charge

Note:  texting and data usage is where we usually see the most overages for international travelers.

The New Plan will start on Oct. 31st (maybe to scare the other carriers on Halloween!) and signup should be easy since T-Mobile announced the elimination of the traditional carrier contracts this past spring. So there will be no locking into a 2-year contract, no annual service contract requirements, no early termination fees, and you can upgrade when you want.

T-Mobile also said that it’s 4LTE nationwide network will be covering 200 million plus customers in over 220 metro areas within the U.S.

And if that’s not enough, to help get the word out T-Mobile has signed an agreement with the pop recording star Shakira for exclusive access to her new music, which will result in unique content for T-Mobile customers.

T-Mobile International travel and roaming plan: Summary

You don’t think twice when you send an email or Skype someone half way around the world, nor should you. The same should be said of our smart phones – and T-Mobile has provided a good step in that direction.

T-Mobile is introducing a game changer of an idea that really should have been done long ago. We are living in a small global society without boundaries when it comes to technology and this is how a lot of users see their mobile phones. In my opinion, T-Mobile has listened to the masses. With the roll out of their Simple Choice Plans, they will make international travel easier on the pocket book and save time for their users.

Only time will tell if this move will help T-Mobile gain market share from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint or just make their existing client base happier. Either way it is a good way to shake things up in the highly competitive world of mobility.

*Country locations

Aland Islands Easter Island Lithuania St. Kitts and Nevis
Anguilla Ecuador Luxembourg St. Lucia
Antigua and Barbuda Egypt Malaysia St. Martin
Argentina El Salvador Malta St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Armenia Estonia Martinique Suriname
Aruba Faeroe Islands Mexico Svalbard
Australia Finland Moldova Sweden
Austria France Montserrat Switzerland
Bahrain French Guiana Netherlands Taiwan
Barbados Germany Netherlands Antilles Thailand
Belgium Ghana New Zealand Trinidad & Tobago
Bermuda Greece Nicaragua Turkey
Bolivia Grenada Norway Turkmenistan
Bonaire Guadeloupe Pakistan Turks and Caicos Islands
Brazil Guatemala Panama Ukraine
British Virgin Islands Guyana Peru United Arab Emirates
Bulgaria Hong Kong Philippines United Kingdom
Cambodia Hungary Poland Uruguay
Canada Iceland Portugal Uzbekistan
Cayman Islands India Qatar Vatican City
Chile Indonesia Romania Venezuela
China Iraq Russia Vietnam
Christmas Island Ireland Saudi Arabia Zambia

 

 

Notice a few changes around here?! We couldn’t be more excited to launch our new, redesigned website out into the world! Over the last few months we’ve been strategizing and working hard to provide you a brand new web experience on Renodis.com which includes a modern, easy to navigate design, mobile-friendly responsive framework, and interactive user experience with helpful blogs and articles. Read on for a tour and overview of the highlights!

Modern Design and Responsive Framework

We took our time to make sure our visitors always have the best user experience on our website. This means a new, modern look and feel as well as being based on a responsive framework (making sure the website is optimized for any device you choose to use) – i.e. no need to squint or zoom in/zoom out on your phone!

Helpful Resources At Your Fingertips

A main focus of the new website was to provide you an easy and quick way to find the resources you’re looking for. By clicking on the RESOURCES tab on the top navigation you’ll find white papers, success stories, brochures, and blog feed separated out for your convenience. Most assets are available in web page format as well as PDF so you can choose the format most convenient for you.

new_website

Revamped Blog

We strongly believe in providing helpful information to visitors through our blog. That’s why we re-designed it so you can find the topics most pertinent to you. Interested in Information Technology related posts? Click on that topic in the side-bar in the BROWSE BLOG TOPICS area. Looking for a blog from a specific date? Click on the ARCHIVED BLOG POSTS area in the side-bar.

And make sure you’re subscribed to the blog so you always get the latest. You can choose to have blogs delivered to you via email or your preferred reader.

Learn About Professionally Managed Communications Infrastructure from Renodis

To help visitors quickly learn about the benefits of a professionally managed communications infrastructure from Renodis, we’ve restructured information into 4 key areas: WHO, WHAT, HOW and WHY. You’ll see why we’re so passionate about helping companies solve telecom management problems and have a better-run communications infrastructure (at a lower total cost with fewer internal resources).

Take A Look Around

There really is too much good stuff to include in one post. From the latest white paper to 3 Must Do’s To Reduce IT Operating Costs in 2014 to Navigating Telecom Environments – go ahead and take a look around!

Renodis is the only firm in America providing professional management of businesses communications infrastructure. As a pioneer in its field, Renodis is committed to providing objective service that empowers clients to reduce the Total Cost of Telecom™, free up valuable IT and Executive resources, future-proof their technology, and gain more time for core business initiatives. Contact us to learn more.

St. Paul, Minn. (October 15, 2013) – Renodis, the only firm in America providing professional management of communications infrastructure, is pleased to announce the release of  their new re-designed website located at www.Renodis.com, that includes a modern, easy to navigate design, mobile-friendly responsive framework, and interactive user experience with helpful blogs and articles.

“Renodis is known for top-notch customer service and technology expertise in its professional management of communications infrastructure, which is exactly what you can expect from the new website experience,” comments Colleen Kranz, Marketing Manager of Renodis.  “We focused on making the user experience simple and easy to find helpful resources for your technology or communications questions.”

The newly designed website is based on a responsive framework which allows easy viewing no matter the device.  In addition the new website includes: enhanced educational blog, news area, success stories, and clients section.

To view the new website and learn more about how a professionally managed communications infrastructure can benefit your business, visit www.Renodis.com.

About Renodis
Renodis is the only firm in America providing professional management of businesses communications infrastructure. As a pioneer in its field, Renodis is committed to providing objective service that empowers clients to reduce the Total Cost of Telecom™, free up valuable IT and Executive resources, future-proof their technology, and gain more time for core business initiatives.

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As you gear up for the 2014 IT budget season, you know there are many areas competing for IT time and attention.  According to a recent article from CIO.com, you’re also trying to secure the best talent when it comes to areas like application development, project management, and technical support.  At the same time you’re probably facing the annual budget dilemma of how to design your 2014 IT budget for more strategic impact and reduce IT operating costs.  You’re dealing with ‘keeping the lights on’ expenses that are known to eat up nearly 70% of your budget year after year.  If you want to make a real impact to this recurring problem, you need to entertain a structural change to how you organize and prioritize your IT organization.

Read more