One of the biggest issues plaguing the popularity of VOIP is that of security.
No doubt that VOIP is functional, practical and cost less than the old-style telephone system. Generally, it is a better-quality phone system, more advanced, more improved and a cut above the regular telephone. But as more and more people utilize the technology, we are also discovering that VoIP has a vulnerable side too.
This post is intended to help VOIP users understand how and where VOIP security is susceptible so that you can take the steps to protect yourself from these security problems.
Let’s take a look at some of the dangers that you can be exposed to everytime you use VOIP.
1. Service theft via phone phreaking
Service theft occurs when a phone phreak breaks into the Voip network illegally to make free long-distance calls using your number and pass the cost on to you.
2. Eavesdropping via wiretapping
Wiretapping is the unauthorized connection made to your Voip line for the purpose of eavesdropping or to listen maliciously and secretly to your conversations or to illegally intercept other private communication such as your instant message, your videoconference or fax transmission.
3. Identity theft
By means of eavesdropping, or wiretapping your Voip line, hackers can steal your name, password, email address, phone numbers and other personal credentials and use your identity to gain access to your calling plan and billing information to make free long-distance calls using your account, take over your voicemail or make changes to a call forwarding number.
4. Vishing or VoIP phishing
This phishing trick uses VoIP to call you illegally, send you a fake text message or a fake telephone number for you to call with the pretense to coax you into giving your private personal and financial information in order to get hold of your account and your money or make illegal purchases using your credit fraud or negotiate falsely for loans using your identity.
5. VoIP DoS attacks
A DoS attack is a bombardment of unnecessary call signals to your VoIP network or device in order to put your service or connection out of action. Once your service gets terminated, your account is taken over by the attacker and falsified. A VoIP DoS attack causes garbled call signals, premature call dropping, messages to get intercepted and stops the progress of call processing as it rejects or disallows connection.
6. VoIP spamming
Similar to email spamming, VoIP spams are unwanted, unsolicited calls from anonymous phone numbers. Common forms of VoIP spam are annoying online sales calls and voicemail flooding and messages that carry viruses, malwares and worms.
7. Call tampering
In this type of attack, VoIP signals are manipulated to slow down the connection or completely block the delivery of call signals. This results in minor disturbances during phone calls in progress such as poor sound quality or long periods of static silence.
8. Man-in-the-middle attacks
In this type of attacks, the VoIP call signals are intercepted and redirected to a different location. It is termed man-in-the-middle because the attacker pretends to be either the caller or the recipient with the intention to mislead and deceive.
These security problems do not lower the degree of VoIP quality in any way in terms of functionality and practicality. Reality is, the industry has yet to experience a major VoIP security breach. By far, the technology is regarded as reliable and safe to use. These safety issues should be regarded as “a piece of advice,” so to say, so that as the end user you can take preventive measures to lessen the chances that it might happen.
It is best to take into consideration that these security issues are only consequent to the nature of the internet. Since VoIP calls pass through the internet then it is reasonable that the system is open to the same dangerous elements. Nonetheless, digital technology is committed to better securing VOIP by developing the steps to perfect the capabilities needed to fend off these attacks with improvements on device calling features, encryption tools and authentication protocol. This is the road that VoIP technology is now taking and the VoIP structure is getting stronger and more developed as digital technology advances.