VoiceMail Hacking

The Rupert Murdock story remained page one news around the world this week, as Murdock himself testified that he had no knowledge of the illegal practices carried out by some of his news publications, and would punish those responsible. You probably know by now, that all the fuss began when it was discovered that one of Murdock’s British tabloids hacked into cell phone voice mail accounts to gather information for stories. Since the original story broke, allegations have spread to other Murdock publications, and have shined a spotlight on a variety of questionable journalism practices.

The story has also raised awareness regarding information system vulnerabilities. It turns our that hacking voice mail is easy on some major telecom networks. In fact,all users who are able to access voicemail without typing in a PIN code are at risk. In the U.S., this includes users of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Free and easy online software is available that allows anyone to spoof a phone number from these carriers and listen to voice mail messages.

In a related story, The Murdock story was apparently too much of a temptation for the previously defunct hacker group LulzSec. The group came out of retirement to hack Rupert Murdoch’s News International Website and redirect visitors to a bogus news story that claimed Murdoch was dead.