Internet Phone Providers Under Attack

The UK’s Industry body Comms Council UK, which represents Voice over IP (VoIP) providers says that several of its members had been targeted by Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in recent weeks. 

VoIP providers offer internet-based calls to a range of customers, including businesses as well as public services, including the police and NHS.

Chair of Comms Council UK, Eli Katz said, “Several Comms Council UK members and international IP-based communications service providers have been subjected to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks over the past four weeks which appear to be part of a coordinated extortion-focused international campaign by professional cyber criminals."

The Comms Council is liaising closely with the UK Government, National Cyber Security Centre, the telecoms reguator, Ofcom and  international agencies to share information and details about the nature of the attacks in the hope of putting a stop to  this criminal activity. "As our members supply telecoms services to critical infrastructure organisations including the Police, NHS and other public services, attacks on our members are attacks on the foundations of UK infrastructure... We are confident that, with a joined-up Government-led initiative, this damaging criminal activity can be halted” it said in a statement.

In the past, attackers have succeeded in using DDoS to take websites offline and the current wave of attacks targeting VoIP appears to be an effort to extort the target companies.

The Comms Council say that the DDoS attacks on British VoIP firms have occurred during the past four weeks and an Ofcom spokesman said: "We're aware that some networks have been experiencing problems recently. We are in contact with them to establish the scale and cause of the problem, and also liaising closely with the UK Government and National Cyber Security Centre."

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