Documented instances of VoIP security breaches are few and far between
According to the media, users of VoIP will soon be subjected to endless torrents of VoIP spam, have government spies eavesdropping on their personal conversations and have their identities stolen. To date there is no substantiated evidence of these urban myths and leads this blogger to believe its all part of a uncoordinated campaign of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD).
The first question regarding VoIP security is “how secure is the IP network itself?” If the service provider and its series of peers are clueless about network security, then, yes, there is a potential for security problems. VoIP spam is the worst of urban myths related to VoIP. There are NO documented cases of VoIP spam. Tens of thousands of landline subscribers disconnect their phone company telephone lines every month, many of them disgusted with the landline spam they get in the form of telemarketer calls they get each and every dinner hour.
There are also no documented cases of illegal VoIP surveillance. To eavesdrop on a VoIP conversation would require a very high degree of sophistication. People with those skills usually find more lucrative opportunities than eavesdropping on a personal chit-chat. Its still a lot easier to take a $40 telephone repairman’s test kit, connect the wires coming out of the target’s house if one REALLY wants to eavesdrop on a private phone conversation.
Frank Ohrtman has many years experience in VoIP and wireless applications. Mr. Ohrtman learned to perform in-depth research and write succinct analyses during his years as a Navy Intelligence Officer (1981-1991) where he specialized in electronic intelligence and electronic warfare. He is a veteran of U.S. Navy actions in Lebanon (awarded Navy Expeditionary Medal), Grenada, Libya (awarded Joint Service Commendation Medal) and the Gulf War (awarded National Defense Service Medal).
His career in VoIP began with selling VoIP gateway switches for Netrix Corporation to long distance bypass carriers. He went on to promote softswitch solutions for Lucent Technologies (Qwest Account Manager) and Vsys (Western Region Sales Manager). Mr. Ohrtman is the author of Softswitch: Architecture for Voice over IP, a number one bestseller on USTA Bookstore’s bestseller list, Wi-Fi Handbook: Building 802.11b Wireless Networks, and Voice over 802.11. He holds a Master of Science degree in Telecommunications from Colorado University College of Engineering (master’s thesis: “Softswitch As Class 4 Replacement—A Disruptive Technology”), a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from Boston University and a BA, Political Science from University of Iowa. Mr. Ohrtman lives in Denver, CO where he is the president of Softswitch Consulting (http://www.softswitchconsulting.com) 720-839-4063.