‘Phone Hacking’ Troubles Megafon Users

Jay Decenella, IT audit expert
July 18, 2011 /

Thousands of Russian Megafon users have fallen victims to a phone hacking that sent their text messages to the Web, probably exposing even incriminatory contents from their mobile phones.

Messages sent on Megafon, one of Russia’s biggest players in telecommunications industry, became available to the public Monday by searching via Yandex. The leaked information further included personally identifiable information, medical records and credit card numbers.

The phone hacking scandal comes hot on the heels of an earlier hacking controversy that has plunged News of the World, whose very own Rupert Murdoch is now facing related charges in court. Similarly, Murdoch, son James and wife Rebekah Brooks will face today a three-hour inquiry by the MPs.

Megafon and Yandex are currently tracking down the source of the leak that caused more than 8,000 messages to appear online.

In addition, Megafon watered down phone hacking speculations and insisted the mass leakage of messages occurred due to technical glitch with the site’s external administrator.

Yandex removed the items from its search index hours after the mass leak. Meanwhile, ESET NOD32 Antivirus blocked access to the Web page for being on the list of Web sites that contain potentially dangerous materials.

The messages were published with dates and phone numbers.

Megafon has 57 million customers across Russia.

Last week, Megafon introduced a service that enables voluntary temporary blocking of SIMs for up to 180 days. During this period telephone numbers will be held for subscribers.


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