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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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CES: And thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for making and enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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