Has there been any cases where hackers have taken over the phone number to a business, by creating a phone number in the same area code, setting up a virtual PBX / Asterisk system, routing all calls to the business, recording the conversations, and updating/hijacking Google/Bing/Yelp listings for the business with their own phone number?

I've run into at least two businesses who I've confirmed their number, and both have said "That's not our number.", yet I was able to reach them. One was an insurance agency and another was a process server. I'm guessing someone may be able to record the conversation and extract credit card numbers or CCV numbers. Not every small business is up-to-date with their online listing.

  • Sounds feasible, but it's also feasible that the company bought numbers to use for future services and put them on forwarding and the average employee wouldn't know anything about them. – Anthony Miller Jan 23 '14 at 21:43
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    Kevin Mitnick diverted calls made to a telecoms company employee to himself to allow him to authorise his own access to their system. It's 'documented' in Ghost in the Wires, although that is hardly a referenced work. I'd guess that that is hardly a rare attack either. – Owen Jan 24 '14 at 12:44

This sounds like what you were looking for:


The work the Kevin Mitnick did was on older Plain old telephone system which was analog based. However, open source projects like Asterisk use protocols like VOIP, which is not analog but rather digital communication.

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    Not quite. I think that involves stealing VOIP credits or minutes. Not recording business lines and stealing credit card info. However I will definitely confirm phone numbers from now on before giving out card info. – Chloe Feb 3 '14 at 4:38

Yes, it happened! A man used a fake Google listing to secretly record conversations to the Secret Service.


SEATTLE -- An Edmonds man who recently exposed a flaw in Google Maps says he was questioned by the Secret Service after his latest stunt.

Brian Seely admits he spent years creating fake business listings on Google Maps for profit.

"I've personally worked on and seen over 50,000 fake businesses," he said.

The fake listings can be used for criminal purposes, and Google's verification process can't stop it.

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