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The devices are
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insure2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 12:15 pm    Post subject: Encryption and Vonage?? Reply with quote Back to top

Im new to this forum and just came across a discussion from 11/05 about weather or not it is possible to encrypt Vonage. Well I use iPhantom which encrypts all of my traffic. iPhantom website here Since I don't have the Vonage ports or for that matter any ports forwarded (except POP and SMTP) I 'assume' my calls are encrypted until they hit the Phantom gateways. Granted there is some lost call quality but not much.

I consider myself just above beginner (the last language I used was Ada) but this would probably make it impossible to 'hack' Vonage calls.

Any thoughts?
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VonageTPA
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

If it can be made by man, it can be taken apart by another. The question really is "how difficult?" On the surface, hacking Voip is pretty difficult unless you've got direct access to the traffic. As far as this iPhantom thing, it may severely degrade Voip traffic, depending on how underpowered the CPU inside the box is. Besides that, once your traffic reaches iPhantom's servers, it then gets sent back out on the insecure, wide-open, public internet before it reaches Vonage, effectively negating the iPhantom box. The only time the iPhantom box would be helpful would be in a group-living type scenero, like a college dorm, where they may still have old-school hubs in place of switches before you reach the public 'net. Additionally, hotels & foreign offices might have similar type issues, 'though it's pretty easy to tell this type of network by watching the activity light.

Theoretically, it's all "easily" hackable, practically, it's still more difficult to intercept a Voip call than an analog land-line call. If you don't believe it, just read the news about the difficulty the U.S. Government is having in wiretapping Voip lines.

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ISP: Varies depending where I'm at.
Vonage: Linksys RTP300
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Total calls since Jul 24, 2005: 4,794 calls
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insure2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I may be pretty new at this 'encryption' thing, but as far as iPhantom goes I think you have the wrong idea. Each packet leaving my network is first encrypted via AES, authenticated, and sent to the phantom gateway. In the gateway it is decrypted, authenticated, given an anonymous ip w/o DNS reverse look up and sent to destination. The return info. is then run through phantom's firewall, IDS, AV/spyware scan, encrypted and sent back to my unit which then decrypts each packet. Wouldn't this make at least make it next to impossible to hack both sides of the conversation??

By the way there is no noticeable call quality loss. The only time I notice a drop is when I use my UTS F1000. When I use the hardwired handset the iPhantom has no affect. The Vonage speed test reports my line will support 7 lines w/o iPhantom and 6 w/ iPhantom enabled.

I agree with the notion that if man can build it than another can take it apart. I have used a program (the name escapes me) that used the machines internal noise to generate randomness for encryption. This worked great w/o loss of quality for MS Netmeeting with 2 way a/v. Since 'man' didn't make this one couldn't 'man' have a little trouble taking it apart? Just a thought.

Like I said before I have been out of the world of code for a while. Need something in Ada or Fortran and I am your man. Thats why I run an Insurance business now. No money in ancient code but health care is a whole lot different: lol!

My interest in this topic really comes from the fact that I have a number of networks with a ton of personal and financial information of clients on it. Anything I can do to make it more secure is a huge concern. Which is why after a year or so of research led me to iPhantom, which so far has never been hacked, as just another layer of defence.

Jay
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VonageTPA
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I'm aware of how iPhantom works and I use similar techniques when on a "hostile" network and want to get some work done. The problem lies in what happens to the data AFTER it leaves iPhantom's servers. It has to get to Vonage somehow, and it's going to do that over the public internet, full headers & all. It has to do this otherwise the calls would fail. If you pick apart a Vonage SIP call header packet, your Vonage phone # is there in the clear, so it's easy to figure out where the call is coming from. Likewise, the destination # is in the clear as well. Your SIP password IS encrypted, so at least people who might intercept the phone call won't be able to abuse your account without some crypto cracking (which takes some time.) A simple packet sniffer can get the dialed #, calling #, and any DTMF #'s quite easily. A more advanced one can capture the voice stream. Some of the better sniffers will even convert the G.711 codec to a standard .WAV or .MP3 file.


As far as if this presents a concern, my answer would be no. Voip is generally more difficult to intercept & record than an analog phone line. Still entirely possible, and on my own local network, I do keep a packet sniffer running in the background to keep a live call log (don't bother with the recording 'though it's only one click to have the program start doing that.)

_________________
ISP: Varies depending where I'm at.
Vonage: Linksys RTP300
Router: IPCop 1.4.10
Phones: various
Total calls since Jul 24, 2005: 4,794 calls
Total Minutes since Jul 24, 2005: 25,552 minutes
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jmpage2
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Joined: Feb 22, 2005
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

VonageTPA wrote:
I'm aware of how iPhantom works and I use similar techniques when on a "hostile" network and want to get some work done. The problem lies in what happens to the data AFTER it leaves iPhantom's servers. It has to get to Vonage somehow, and it's going to do that over the public internet, full headers & all. It has to do this otherwise the calls would fail. If you pick apart a Vonage SIP call header packet, your Vonage phone # is there in the clear, so it's easy to figure out where the call is coming from. Likewise, the destination # is in the clear as well. Your SIP password IS encrypted, so at least people who might intercept the phone call won't be able to abuse your account without some crypto cracking (which takes some time.) A simple packet sniffer can get the dialed #, calling #, and any DTMF #'s quite easily. A more advanced one can capture the voice stream. Some of the better sniffers will even convert the G.711 codec to a standard .WAV or .MP3 file.


As far as if this presents a concern, my answer would be no. Voip is generally more difficult to intercept & record than an analog phone line. Still entirely possible, and on my own local network, I do keep a packet sniffer running in the background to keep a live call log (don't bother with the recording 'though it's only one click to have the program start doing that.)


TPA is correct, your traffic still has to get to Vonage unencrypted and that means it is travelling from iphantoms servers to Vonage over the public internet un-encrypted.

What you are doing is basically preventing someone from intercepting/cracking your traffic between your Vonage adapter and iphantom.

Also as TPA said, it is very difficult for someone to access your traffic unless you give them the means to do so through a publicly accessible hub port, un-encrypted wifi network, etc.

I suspect that Vonage MAY eventually offer AES VPN encryption on their adapters at an additional charge, they would host the VPN at their end and your adapter would be logged in to their VPN at all times. They will also probably charge extra for this feature and would probably have to give the AES keys to the Feds.

This would essentially perform what you really want to do, but then again someone can easily listen in to your conversation on the copper side of the call (unless you are making an IP to IP call to someone else who is also encrypted completely end to end).

In a nutshell, this is something of an excersize in futility. If someone with the right access (like the Federalis) really want to get your phone call recorded, they probably will figure out how to do it.
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stufried
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I am using a competing service with an unlocked Sipura 2000 and an unlocked 3102. My ISP blocks Voip and I thought that an iPhantom would be a seamless answer. I really have problems with my local ISP for a number of reasons, and I thought that the iPhantom would distance me as far as possible from the only game in town. Lastly, I chose the device because it would give me a virtual US connection which is handy for a number of things such as paying my gas bill back home. Unlike software solutions, I figured the device would run on all machines and never force my wife to reset anything when I am gone.

Mostly, it has proven true. Since I have implemented the device, I have to reset my ATA constantly. Despite trying every type of setting known to man, it will not hold a registration. I've tried NAT, Stun, port forwarding it, and nearly DMZing the darn thing.

Their recommended solution, viz. a port forward in the iPhantom box is nothing more than opening up the outside blocked port to me. Since my ISP uses protocol filtering as opposed to specific port blocking, this didn't appear to be a viable option.

While I generally like the iPhantom, I don't know that it is the best solution for Voip. Perhaps Vonage users will have a different experience, but that is my experience using a similar setup on a competing provider.
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stufried
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I am using a competing service with an unlocked Sipura 2000 and an unlocked 3102. My ISP blocks Voip and I thought that an iPhantom would be a seamless answer. I really have problems with my local ISP for a number of reasons, and I thought that the iPhantom would distance me as far as possible from the only game in town. Lastly, I chose the device because it would give me a virtual US connection which is handy for a number of things such as paying my gas bill back home. Unlike software solutions, I figured the device would run on all machines and never force my wife to reset anything when I am gone.

Mostly, it has proven true. Since I have implemented the device, I have to reset my ATA constantly. Despite trying every type of setting known to man, it will not hold a registration. I've tried NAT, Stun, port forwarding it, and nearly DMZing the darn thing.

Their recommended solution, viz. a port forward in the iPhantom box is nothing more than opening up the outside blocked port to me. Since my ISP uses protocol filtering as opposed to specific port blocking, this didn't appear to be a viable option.

While I generally like the iPhantom, I don't know that it is the best solution for Voip. Perhaps Vonage users will have a different experience, but that is my experience using a similar setup on a competing provider.
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