Man gets 10 years for VoIP hacking

Edwin Pena was the first person charged by US authorities for VoIP hacking

A Venezuelan man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday for stealing and then reselling more than 10 million minutes of Internet phone service.

Edwin Pena, 27, was convicted in February of masterminding a scheme to hack into more than 15 telecommunications companies and then reroute calls to their networks at no charge. He must also pay more than US$1 million in restitution, and will be deported once his sentence is served.

Pena was sentenced by Judge Susan Wigenton in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on computer hacking and wire fraud charges.

The scam cost his victims, including VoIP sellers Net2Phone, NovaTel and Go2Tel, more than $1.4 million in losses.

Pena is the first person to be charged by U.S. authorities with VoIP hacking, but he almost avoided prosecution. He skipped bail after his arrest, and was only captured after his Mexican girlfriend turned him in in early 2009.

Pena worked with Spokane, Washington, hacker Robert Moore to launch brute force attacks against the VoIP networks. Moore wrote computer programs that tried, again and again, to guess important prefix codes, which were then used to authorize traffic on the networks. Some of these codes were just four-digit numbers.

During a four-month period in 2005, Moore launched more than 6 million scans on AT&T's network, looking for vulnerable ports. AT&T helped authorities with their investigation, but was not named as a victim of the fraud.

Moore was previously given a two-year sentence for his role in the scheme.

Once he had access to the hacked networks, Pena operated as if he were a legitimate Internet phone wholesaler, selling telephone services to businesses at deeply discounted rates.

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is robert_mcmillan@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags U.S. Department of JusticesecurityNetworkinglegalinternetNet2Phonecybercrime

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?