Since 1944, the Sherrill Furniture Company located in the Hickory, North Carolina area have supplied custom home furnishings to major furniture and department stores throughout the US and Canada. It only took 12 hours for a hacker to run up $45,582 in telephone charges for a local furniture company. More than 10,000 minutes of phone calls were made from the phones at Sherrill Furniture on Highland Ave. NE in Hickory from 9 p.m. on Friday, March 5 to 9 a.m. the following day.
The company reported the security breach to police Tuesday and a preliminary investigation revealed that the phone calls originated in Somalia. Investigators know that calls were made to Austria, Bulgaria, France, Korea, and the Philippines, sounding like a scam to re-sell phone time for cash involving teams of well organized hackers and salesmen on the streets. The thieves target corporate phone systems because they tend to be the weak link in a lot of companies’ security systems, and are particularly vulnerable on weekends when most staff are not in.
Sherrill’s phone company, Century Link, is working with the company to resolve the problem, according to the police report.