This article is not a roaring plea from baseball fans. No, this article is about SPam over Internet Telephony or as it is often shortened—SPIT. Those annoying, unsolicited messages that clutter your email inbox have an ugly cousin that seeks to bombard your digital phone messaging system with pre-recorded messages and cause much more damage. The problem with SPIT is that if it isn’t controlled it can quickly eat up your valuable bandwidth and clog up your system, which can prevent legitimate callers from reaching you. There are software programs on the market to tackle SPIT. Many of these function similar to the tools used to control and prevent email spam.
Phreaking (or phone hacking, toll fraud, dial-through fraud) is not new. In the not too distant past it was often a domain of adolescents with modems, phone lines and a PCs looking to make a couple of calls on someone else’s tab to their friends out of state or, sometimes, out of the country. Those call volumes often went unnoticed in the overall vast number of calls on company’s phone bill.
But phreaking in this day and age has moved from geek to something more sinister and more damaging. Telephone phreaking of Internet era is a big business run by an organized crime. What’s also interesting is that telecommunications carriers reap substantial benefits from these activities by demanding payments for the tidal wave of illegal call traffic phreakers generate at the victim’s expense. Some insiders hint that phreaking is telecommunication’s industry’s biggest dirty secret, generating massive funding for carriers.