In the last few months, we and some of our customers have received strange voice mail messages after hours.  It starts off with someone talking about an "audio separator" and you cannot hear the person he is talking to.  Then there is ringing and the call appears to be answered by the auto-attendant at the Canadian Embassy in Havana!  Following that it says that the call has been disconnected "due to communications problems".  After a period of about 15 seconds of mostly silence with some background noises, a Spanish speaking lady answers the call.  After a few "Hello"s she launches into a lot of Spanish that I don't understand!  It ends with someone in the background yelling for "Olla".


What the heck is this???


We have determined that this is just a recording being played to the auto-attendant.  The voice mail starts at the point that the auto-attendant timed-out the call due to no response and sent it to voice mail.  Some of our customers get more of the call than we do because their auto-attendant times-out the call and gets to voice mail quicker than ours does.  Here is the longest version of the recording that we have heard.  One of our customers sent this to us worried about it:




Recently we found other people reporting this on the Internet.  We were relieved that this wasn't some sort of weird FacetPhone phenomenon!


Is this anything to worry about???


We don't think so.  There is no attempt to hack into a user menu.   It is just an incoming call, no digits are ever pressed at the auto-attendant and it doesn't last very long.  All the examples that we have seen have had different caller IDs although they are all in the same format with the leading 1 and the caller ID name just a repetition of the number.  This is surely being spoofed.  One post about this we found on the Internet suggested that maybe this is some sort of telephone "denial of service" attack.  But we have never seen an example of more than one of these calls coming in at the same time, so it certainly doesn't use up much of your incoming call capacity.


So far, this goes in the category of weird but harmless!