Hackers target flaws in PBX system to hijack VoIP calls

Flaws in Sangoma PBX allow hackers to make outgoing calls to premium-rate numbers

binary on a screen with words 'hacking attack'

Cyber criminals have launched a new campaign that targets Sangoma PBX, an open source web GUI that manages communications toolkit Asterisk, security researchers have said.

The attack exploits CVE-2019-19006, a critical vulnerability in Sangoma private branch exchange (PBX), which grants the attacker admin access to the system and gives them control over its functions.

Nearly 1,200 organisations worldwide over past 12 months are said to have been targeted, with the main purpose of the campaign being to lift phone numbers and gain live access to compromised VoIP services, according to a blog by researchers at Check Point Software.

Countries targeted include the Netherlands, Belgium, US, Columbia, and Germany. However, over half of the attacks so far have been aimed at companies based in the UK, in industries such as government, military, insurance, finance, and manufacturing.

“While investigating the exploitations, researchers identified several online profiles associated with private Facebook groups that deal with VoIP, and more specifically, SIP server exploitation," said researchers Ido Solomon, Ori Hamama and Omer Ventura, in a joint blog post. 

They added that investigations into the source of the attacks suggested that most hackers were based in Gaza, the West Bank, and Egypt.

It was also concluded that the group has mostly tried to gain access to phone numbers, and sell these on to other groups, and grant access to compromised VoIP services “to the highest bidders, who can then exploit those services for their own purposes”.

Related Resource

Adding cloud telephony to Microsoft Teams

Collaboration technology for flexible working

Download now

Researchers said that hackers could also use the compromised systems to support further attacks, such as using the system resources for cryptocurrency mining, spreading laterally across the company network, or launching attacks on outside targets, while masquerading as representatives from the compromised company.

Companies using vulnerable systems have been urged to change all default passwords and analyse call billings on a regular basis as well as applying patches to close the CVE-2019-19006 vulnerability that hackers are exploiting. 

Featured Resources

Preparing for AI-enabled cyber attacks

MIT technology review insights

Download now

Cloud storage performance analysis

Storage performance and value of the IONOS cloud Compute Engine

Download now

The Forrester Wave: Top security analytics platforms

The 11 providers that matter most and how they stack up

Download now

Harness data to reinvent your organisation

Build a data strategy for the next wave of cloud innovation

Download now

Recommended

Chipotle’s marketing email hacked to send phishing emails
phishing

Chipotle’s marketing email hacked to send phishing emails

29 Jul 2021
Dark web ads offering access to corporate networks increase sevenfold
hacking

Dark web ads offering access to corporate networks increase sevenfold

28 Jul 2021
Number of hacking tools increasing as cyber criminals become more organized
hacking

Number of hacking tools increasing as cyber criminals become more organized

28 Jul 2021
Criminals target Discord to spread malware
live chat

Criminals target Discord to spread malware

26 Jul 2021

Most Popular

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G review: A rose-tinted experience
Mobile Phones

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G review: A rose-tinted experience

14 Jul 2021
RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility
high-performance computing (HPC)

RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility

28 Jul 2021
Zyxel USG Flex 200 review: A timely and effective solution
Security

Zyxel USG Flex 200 review: A timely and effective solution

28 Jul 2021