The first person ever charged with hacking Internet phone networks and reselling their services was sentenced to 120 months in prison, and ordered to pay more than $1 million on Sept. 24.
Venezuelan citizen Edwin Andres Pena, 27, was extradited to the United States after he was arrested in Mexico on Feb. 6, 2009. He hacked into Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider networks and stole more than 10 million minutes of phone calls, according to an Attorney District of New Jersey press release.
Posing as a wholesaler of the Web-based phone services, Pena sold discounted service plans by routing his customers’ calls through networks of legitimate VoIP providers. In less than a year he caused more than $1.4 million in losses, and one of the targeted companies, based in Newark, was billed for more than 500,000 unauthorized phone calls, according to case documents cited by the Attorney District of New Jersey.
Pena worked with Washington-based hacker, Robert Moore, to scan computer networks of companies that they could route their calls through. Pena would then program the networks to accept call traffic, which fooled VoIP companies into thinking the calls came from third-party networks. Records from AT&T showed more than six million scans by Moore in his search for vulnerabilities, according to the case documents.
The profits were hidden in real estate, cars, and a 40-foot motor boat, that Pena filed under a false name.