Phreaks threaten voice IP security

Thursday, 8 May 2003, 1:19 AM EST

Increasing use of voice-over-IP technology could result in a return to "phreaking" - hacking of telephony systems to make free calls.

Security expert Matt Barrie said VoIP was cheap and increasingly popular, but it introduced many vulnerabilities of traditional Internet Protocol networking to voice telephony.

Mr Barrie, a lecturer in security at the University of Sydney and former manager of the Packetstorm security portal, said telephone network operators had spent years coming to terms with security issues in voice transmission, which could re-emerge as VoIP grew.

Internet security centre CERT found a vulnerability in the fledgling IP Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) in February. Among other things, the vulnerability could be used to cause denial of service attacks.

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