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Man Hacks VoIP, Gets 10 Years Sentence

Friday a 27-year-old Venezuelan man was sentenced to ten years in prison for hacking into more than 15 telecommunications companies. He was also convicted for stealing more than 10 million minutes of VoIP service by rerouting calls to the hacked networks, and then reselling the minutes as a fake wholeseller.

According to reports, Edwin Andres Pena originally pleaded guilty in February for one count of conspiracy to commit computer hacking and wire fraud, and one count of wire fraud. Pena was the first to be charged by U.S. authorities with VoIP hacking.

The investigation began back in 2005 and spanned from the United States to Central and South America. Pena was originally arrested in 2006 but skipped bail and managed to escape into Mexico for three years. Pena was finally extradited back to the States in February 2009 where he pleaded guilty to the charges.

Pena allegedly worked with hacker Robert Moore of Spokane, Washington, to launch brute force attacks against VoIP networks including Net2Phone, NovaTel and Go2Tel. Moore actually wrote the hack utility, performing more than 6 million scans on AT&T and other networks to locate vulnerable ports. Once the duo hacked into VoIP networks, Pena then posed as a legitimate Internet phone wholesaler, selling VoIP services to businesses for "deep" discounter rates.

The scheme reportedly cost customers and VoIP networks around $1.4 million in losses. Pena must now pay over $1 million in restitution, and will be deported from the States once his ten-tear term has completed. Moore received a two-year sentence for his part in the overall scheme prior to Pena's sentencing.

Friday Pena was sentenced by Judge Susan Wigenton in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.