Telecom New Zealand has issued a statement about an incident in which a hacker may have accessed voice messages left on a phone's voice mail.
The mobile operator says that they are passing on any information to the New Zealand Police for further investigation and says this is a criminal matter.
Telecom is interacting with other phone companies around the world about their experiences on this hacking. They have confirmed it is confined to a small hacking community. Given the convergence of technologies it is inevitable for hacking to go beyond the PC world.
The company says the best protection customers can take is to have and use a PIN number on their voice message services.
About two thirds of Telecom's customers do use a PIN number to access their voice messages and the operator is recommending that all other customers set up and use a PIN number to control access to voice mail features.
To set up a PIN, customers should ring their voice message service as they do for accessing messages and then follow the voice commands.
Customers whose PIN number is not activated are recommended to set up a new, changed PIN number and ensure it is activated. Telecom is planning to send individual reminders to those customers in the near future.