Security Holes Make VOIP a Risky Business
Thinking of moving your phones to VOIP to save money? Better think again. Today's SIP and VOIP protocols are as vulnerable as an unpatched version of Windows XP.Its the latest technology craze. Turn your phones digital, and use the Internet to bypass pricey long-distance providers. Individuals and businesses can slash phone costs by 50 percent or more, with little or no loss of quality. But theres a very dark lining inside this silver cloud. VOIP (voice over IP) is just as vulnerable to hackers as other digital networking technologies. But its just far less protectedwhich can put your entire company at risk. According to a prominent networking and security pal of minewho wished to remain nameless"SIP is a very weak protocol." It uses edge-style servers, similar to FTP, e-mail and HTTP, to initiate connections between users. According to my buddy, just as hackers have attacked those servers, theyre coming after VOIP too.
What sorts of vulnerabilities exist? Lets start with the basics. Because most VOIP traffic over the Internet is unencrypted, anyone with network access can listen in on conversations. That means Willy in the mailroom can overhear your CEO and HR director discuss the latest round of layoffs.