Hacker makes $15,000 worth of calls from Duxbury library

Sydney Schwartz

One call to India cost $7,000.

Add the calls to the Philippines and Jordan, and the bill on the Duxbury public library phone line came to more than $15,000.

Hackers got into the computerized phone system at the Duxbury Free Library back in March. The FBI, among others, is now investigating.

The bad news: Selectmen shifted $13,000 in town funds this week to help pay the bill.

The good news: The town may not actually have to pay it.

“Someone, somehow, tapped into a phone at the library,” said Town Manager Richard MacDonald. “There’s a potential we will not have to pay. We’re still looking into this. We have no intent of paying any bills.”

MacDonald said the phone calls included one 30-hour connection to India that cost more than $7,000.

Duxbury Police Lt. Lewis Chubb said police received a report March 21 that there had been fraudulent use of the library phone system.

Manny Santos, director of engineering for CranCom Inc., then the library’s phone company, said a hacker or hackers gain access to the phone system through an employee’s voice mail. They then linked an library extension to a phone number elsewhere in the world so that calls from the outside phone passed through the library phone system and appeared to be coming from a library phone.

The library has since installed a new phone system.

Sydney Schwartz may be reached at