02 August 2007
Internet telephone services like Skype and Vonage
are starting to look less like digital gimmicks and more like the next
generation of voice communication. They're cheaper than traditional
phone services and increasingly fast and reliable. But they may also be
far more hackable.
Security professionals at the Black Hat
conference in Las Vegas spent Wednesday outlining the exploitable
vulnerabilities in voice over Internet protocol technology, or VoIP. In
a series of presentations, they demonstrated ways in which
cybercriminals can eavesdrop on VoIP calls, steal data from Internet
telephony devices, intercept credit card numbers from VoIP connections
and shut connections down altogether.
"VoIP is about convergence.
The idea is that you save money and resources and time," said Barrie
Dempster, a senior security consultant at Next Generation Security Software
who made a presentation at the conference. "But convergent systems give
you more avenues of attack, more ways in. It's not a secure