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Current as of 30/09/14 07:40PM NZST

Voicemail hacker could face prosecution

Telecom has yet to decide if it will take to court a hacker who tapped into the cellphones of one of their executive's and other public figures.

Telecom's public affairs manager John Goulter learnt the messages on his 027 Telecom mobile had been hacked only when he was told by a computer journalist yesterday.

The hacker apparently listened to a message left for Mr Goulter by his partner after tapping into his phone, and then called the media.

The security breach prompted Telecom to warn its customers to use a pin number on their phones, It has also set up a website to tell customers about security issues.

Mr Goulter said the information had been passed to police but Telecom was more concerned about protecting the services it offered its customers and had yet to decide if it would press police for a prosecution.

"We are just gathering information and passing it on (to police) at this stage. We will assess that once we have got the full information. At this stage we are focused very much on fixing it as far as customers are concerned," Mr Goulter said.

"Like many hackers he was trying to show off. Our ultimate point here is to protect the security of customers information and fortunately we can do that through ensuring they have their pin number activated."

He said the hacker had probably done Telecom a favour but if he knew the system could have been hacked, he could have called Telecom rather than hacking into a private message service.

"It is good we have had a heads-up early on in the piece so we can nip it in the bud, that is true."

He said hacking into voice messages was a new phenomenon.

He said the best advice for customers was to activate the pin number on their telephones to protect their messages.

He said Telecom did not yet know the identity of the hacker.

- NZPA

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