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High cost of hackers getting into the PBX

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Many VoIP customers are surpassed when they receive outrageous phone bills. This is often due to PBX hacking where a fraudster hijacks a telephone system to place premium calls.

Unsuspecting VoIP customers are often surprised when they receive outrageous phone bills, especially when their telephone service providers do not explain the risks of toll fraud, better known as PBX hacking. International fraudsters are constantly hijacking telephone systems and using them to place calls to premium charge-by-the-minute numbers.

SIP trunking is a VoIP service that allows service providers to deliver telephone services to customers equipped with SIP-based IP-PBX. Without the correct preventative measures, SIP trunking often results in huge unforeseen costs that can cripple a small to medium size organisation when their IP-PBX or SIP trunk is hacked.

Euphoria Telecom CEO George Golding says a free SIP trunk doesn’’t necessarily mean cost savings. “Most local VoIP service providers don’t have sophisticated fraud prevention systems in place to prevent hackers from running up charges if a PABX is hacked and they also don’t take liability for the fraudulent charges.”

Businesses often use local service providers that normally lack such antifraud systems, leaving customers to foot the bill. The law is also not much help, because no regulations require carriers or service providers to reimburse customers for fraudulent activity.

“If your VoIP provider doesn’t offer control mechanisms to dramatically reduce or prevent fraudulent use of your SIP account, you may want to look into using a different provider,” says Golding.

Euphoria has introduced a level of security on their SIP trunk and Cloud PBX services to dramatically reduce the risks associated with toll fraud. Its VoIP-based Cloud PBX phone system and SIP trunks restricts international calls on a granular level.

It can restrict specific extensions on its Cloud PBX and also restrict calls to specific countries on a per-extension and per-SIP account basis. Specific extensions can be programmed to allow or prohibit international calls to specific countries.

This way one can allow specific international countries to be called on those extensions by users that require it, but still block all high risk toll fraud countries – even in the event where an account is compromised.

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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