Content related threats target calls directly. Threats in this category include call monitoring and eavesdropping as well as VoIP Spam. The concept of call monitoring is familiar from the PSTN world, but the reality is that it is limited to spy movies and, in most countries, law enforcement authorities backed by appropriate legal authority.
It is next to impossible for a malicious attacker or criminal to wire-tap an organisation’s phone lines. Moving voice calls to an IP network moves them to an environment where not only is wire-tapping relatively easy, but where there are freely downloadable tools to help you do it.
We are all familiar with email spam, which has grown to a level that threatens the usability of email. In Western Europe and North America at least, the problem of unwanted calls on the regular phone system is also well understood. VoIP means that the technologies used to generate the huge volumes of email spam can be applied to the phone system. We are in the fortunate position that VoIP spam is not a huge problem yet.
This is because the number of VoIP endpoints, at least those reachable from the Internet, is still significantly smaller that the number of email boxes. However this number is growing and will soon reach the point where unless pre-emptive action to control the problem, VoIP systems become just as much of a target for spammers as email systems.
Peter Cox, CTO of Borderware, will be speaking at FIRST Security Conference in Sevilla. FIRST is the premier organization and recognized global leader in incident response. For more info, visit FIRST's website at http://www.first.org.