Internet Phone Service –What are the Security Threats?

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Internet security is virtually indispensable, but it will become even more so as more businesses and individuals begin to replace the most commonly used network obtainable – the conventional landline telephone system. Although there is no way to completely safeguard against security threats on the internet, VoIP or common software applications (such as Microsoft Live, Office, etc.), increased layers of security will lessen the probability of these types of attacks reaching your computer, phone system or mobile phone.

Whether small or large, more companies are migrating over to phone service over the internet by enlisting the help of a sip provider or other VoIP service provider. Thus, an increasing amount of businesses are putting in these services within corporate campuses, shopping malls, office buildings and other places, permitting workers to have the ability to take advantage of the flexibility this type of technology offers. Unfortunately, as technology progresses in the IP world, there will always be security threats to fight.

Here are 5 types of threats below, some of which you may have heard of while others are lesser known.

Service and Identity Theft

This type of attack could be represented by phreaking – the kind of hacking which robs service from VoIP service providers – thus utilizing the service of an individual at his/her cost for their own benefit. When a business uses SIP (session initiation protocol) rather than typical voice over IP, added security is built into the connection. However, by adding in even additional levels of encryption is not rare in SIP environments. In fact, there are laws such as HIPPA set forth by the US Government in which specific encryption standards must be met within certain industries if VoIP or SIP is to be used.

This type of “eavesdropping” is a method utilized by many hackers to steal other people’s vital data and credentials, such as phone numbers, passwords and names. In turn, this allows the hacker to get full authority over call blocking, call forwarding, calling plan(s), voice mail and more importantly – sensitive billing data.


This is not a term well

known by the masses. However, it is still a concern which is a reality for those in the security industry. Vishing is a type of VoIP phishing, where a phony party will call you pretending to be an honest company, such as a bank, and then ask for your critical and confidential data. Most banks have policies which state employees are not allowed to ask for personal information over the phone such as passwords and social security numbers. Make sure to know the security policies of your bank so you can more easily detect fraud.

Malware and Viruses

VoIP tools involving softphones and additional software will be vulnerable to malware, viruses and worms as with any additional Web application. As these softphone apps function within user systems like PDAs and PCs, they’ve become vulnerable and open to dangerous code attacks within voice applications. To avoid this, keep up to date with software updates for these devices.

Denial of Service

A denial of service attack can affect a device or network, therefore preventing the service to achieve connectivity. A denial of service (DoS) overloads the network by overriding its bandwidth and the tool’s resources with undesired SIP call-signal messages. It results by dropping calls ahead of time and thus can prevent successful call processing. As a hacker conducts this type of attack, they can obtain full authority over a VOIP system.

Spamming over Internet Telephony

The term “˜spamming’ is not a new term by any means and is more typically associated with email. Today’s spamming means sending undesired emails to individuals, without gaining their consent. Usually, the emails are promoting products for sale, or sometimes there may be nothing in the email but a mix of letters and numbers – complete scribble.

VoIP spamming is the same in concept as email spamming. Using the IP address associated with a VoIP account, spammers will send voicemails to multiple IP addresses. This causes the inbox to be filled with undesired voicemails and taking up space. The spam messages might additionally carry spyware and viruses that could lead to malicious effects on the VOIP device.

Call Tampering

The “˜call tampering’ will be an additional harmful attack upon VOIP that includes messing with the in progress telephone call, or tempering it.

Up until now, you may be acutely alert to the potential lethal threats witnessed within VOIP. There is and probably never will be any absolute method for stopping the attackers, yet there are ways to prevent attacks by being educated on the various threats and doing what you can to safeguard your data and recognize fraud before it does any harm.