Cost of an Attack
Sure, many of these problems exist with the current switched voice network. But whats different here is the cost of mounting an attack. Its like the difference between junk mail and spam. The cost of postage keeps you from receiving a truckload of junk mail each day, but spam is freeand thus overwhelming. VOIP is simply streaming e-mail. Traceable, expensive attacks using POTS are anonymous and free over VOIP.Even worse, our voice expectations are so much higher than with data. Weve come to expect that e-mail and networks will go down occasionally. But phones are inviolate. Business expects a 99.9999 percent uptime for voice networks. Is VOIP reaching the "tipping point"? Find out here. Do others agree that VOIP poses a huge security problem? Based on my informal survey at NetWorld+Interop, yes. Brian Burch, the chief marketing officer of conferencing vendor Raindance, agreed. He was careful, though, to make a distinction between voice over the Internet, and IP-based voice over a secure private network. Raindance is about to launch an IP version of its popular voice conferencing system, but only over a secure and isolated network. Does Raindance think Internet-based voice is safe? "No, we do not," Burch replied emphatically. "There are not enough layers of security yet." Next page: MCI builds in safeguards.
Compared with the world of data, where a mature security infrastructure has evolvedwith AV research labs, firewalls and appliances, VOIP is as vulnerable as a mail-order bride.