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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securitycybercrimeinternetlegalNetworkingU.S. Department of JusticeNet2Phone

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

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?