Firstly, the rant - it's not coughing! (well technically it is - but it's not some nice difficult technical attack requesting specialist knowledge and equipment).
Lots of individuals are under the effect that cellular phone voicemail is just available from the cellular phone itself and some could even believe that messages are kept on the phone. In reality, messages are recorded at the portable network companies'data centres and performed straight back over the network when the consumer dials in to select them up. It is not even necessary to own use of the cellular phone itself to obtain access to someone's voicemail consideration - calling their number while the phone is off or active on another call benefits in call diversion so a note may be left, and that is where in fact the "hack" can start. By pressing the proper critical series through the "please keep a note" delightful information, everyone can reach the selection which allows voicemail to be performed back. It is a function designed to allow customers listen for their messages from anywhere on earth, whether their phone is working or not, and is honestly useful - but it generates a backdoor through which messages may be accessed.
Of course, a PIN is needed to gain access to the address but many individuals keep the default PIN on the consideration, and these are well identified - the majority are printed on the network companies'sites or can be found in the manuals accessible with any phone or SIM from the provider. In different instances, PINs may be guessed in the exact same way as accounts by carrying out a little bit of background study to find out such things as birthdays of family members, buddies or pets, different significant appointments or subscription amounts of cars. Different practices, like social executive - wherever cautiously crafted questions and behaviour are accustomed to get the mark to disclose their PIN as well as only "shoulder surfing" (watching somebody enter their PIN while they listen for their messages) can be extremely successful too.
Nevertheless the PIN is obtained, after the opponent has it, they've full get a handle on of the voicemail system and can listen to and remove messages at will.
For a few customers this could result in private data being disclosed, while for organizations maybe it's used to find out sensitive material.
If that you don't need voicemail, change it off. If you do need it - don't utilize the default PIN, make use of a number which is not associated with any such thing that's demonstrably linked to you - and change it regularly. Prevent clear PINs like 1111, 1234, 9999 and so on - handle it like the PIN for your bank card, it could have related price to somebody who would like to spy on you. The same rules also affect the addressing equipment in your area point - many of them have remote access features so anybody who dials your number could listen to your messages if they can guess the access code.
Enter into the habit of examining your voicemail. If you often seem to be obtaining messages with no network letting you know that they are waiting, maybe it's a sign that someone otherwise is listening to them. Do not store sensitive messages on the host for too long either. Eliminate them the moment you can.
If you are likely to keep a note for someone - don't expose any sensitive substance, or even better send a text message. SMS is much more challenging to intercept without legal authority.
Of course, there's another way to get into voicemail - but that does need some technical skill and use of correct equipment. It would be unprofessional of me to explain it here though. Suffice to express that OFCOM get an interest in anybody trying to provide the service commercially.