FEMA phones hacked - loads of international calls made

Now here's an irony. It seems that hackers have broken into the Homeland Security Department's telephone system in the US last weekend and chunked up about $12,000 in calls to the Middle East and Asia.

According to the Associated Press, the hacker managed to make around 400 calls via the FEMA voicemail services over the weekend, suggesting (to me, at least) that international call resale hacking was involved.

The irony (and bronzey) of the situation is that FEMA is part of the US Homeland Security, which in 2003 put out a warning about this self-same vulnerability.

The US government says it is "looking into" the calls, which lasted between three and ten minutes to destinations as diverse as Afghanistan, India, Saudia Arabia and Yemen.

And it wasn't FEMA's security systems that even caught the fraud - it was the systems of Sprint, the agency's long distance carrier, that spotted the problem and locked the account down.

There's a message in this story somewhere...