in HIPAA Headlines by John Brewer

Some big news being talked about right now is how a UK newspaper hacked into the voice mail of certain people and gained slimy news from this access.

How the heck does this happen?

It is actually quite easy…unfortunately.

Typically, when one checks voice mail from the cell phone they either don’t need to input a PIN or they have a 4 digit PIN that must be entered to hear voice mail.

If you choose to check your voice mail from a phone other than your cell, you will definitely need a PIN.

As these PINs (to be clear this is a Personal Identification Number – not a PIN number) are commonly 4 digits, a brute force “hack” is not all that challenging.

More concerning, as referenced in a previous post on weak passwords, the same general problem is enacted with your PIN – whether it be your voice mail PIN or your ATM PIN (also clearing up, that is Automatic Teller Machine, not ATM machine) – people don’t create a strong PIN.

Yes, when 4 digits are involved, a strong PIN is an oxymoron.  But, like with your passwords, you should change your PIN on a regular basis – when is the last time you changed either your computer password OR your voice mail PIN??

Another big mistake is not changing your PIN from the default your cell carrier creates for you.

With routers, knowing the default username/password can get you into probably 60% of all routers that exist.

The takeaway on this is:

  • Always change your password after initial setup
  • Change your password regularly
  • Be sure you are notified any time your password is changed

About John Brewer

This author hasn't yet written their biography.
Still we are proud John Brewer contributed 176 great entries.

0 thoughts on “Voicemail Hacking

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *