VoIP Security Is Not Optional
February 25, 2011 by iCall Team Member
Securing communication lines has been one challenge that VoIP providers have encountered over the years. VoIP attacks, where hackers are able to listen in or record phone conversations, steal sensitive information discussed during calls, and hijack phones to make expensive overseas calls, have been on the rise. The Internet has made it easy to become a VoIP hacker-a simple Google search reveals all the steps to butting in on a call.
For me, the fact that VoIP companies perpetuate an environment where their customers can unwittingly place their information (whether it is business secrets or credit card information) in harm's way is alarming. Security is something I take very seriously, as well as personally. To me, it doesn't matter whether I'm making strategic and confidential plans with my development team, or talking to my wife about dinner--I simply don't want anyone else listening in on my calls. And, hacking affects more than just the end user. Between 2004 and 2006, "Edwin Pena hacked into VoIP service provider networks":http://www.scmagazineus.com/venezuelan-voip-hacker-caught-back-in-court-friday/article/155458/ and used them to route his own customer's calls. He caused more than $1.4 million in damages.
My team and I feel strongly about VoIP security. It's our business, and we are avid VoIP users ourselves. Because of this, we have gone above and beyond industry standards at iCall to ensure that all of our customers' calls are confidential. We employ ZRTP encryption on iCall, and all communications are secured to National Security Administration (NSA) levels.
The law enforcement and judicial systems take VoIP hacking very seriously as well. Edwin Pena, the man who stole more than a million dollars from VoIP carriers, was extradited from Mexico late last year and "sentenced to 10 years in prison":http://www.scmagazineus.com/extradited-voip-hacker-sentenced-to-10-years/article/179538/ and ordered to pay $1 million in restitution.
I commend law makers for their actions against VoIP hackers like Pena. The next step is making industry-wide strides toward VoIP communication security, with the providers taking the lead with higher encryption standards.