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n8lm
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:45 pm    Post subject: Recording VOIP calls!!?? Reply with quote Back to top

I came across the software VonaLink and was wondering if its easy to set up and begin recording phone calls on a public network (such as a college campus) or any network for that matter and record Voip calls without the persons knowledge.

This concerns me quite a bit as I do travel with my phone adapter on occasions. What do you guys think? Any tips or suggestions for more secure Voip calls? (even if it requires changing providers).
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vonalink
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

From a technical point of view, you cannot record someone else's calls in a network unless you has full access to the network infrastructure, just like regular phone wiretapping.

For example, if 2 people are plugged into the same network at a school campus, the 2 people cannot record each other's calls or see each other's passwords via packet sniffing even if the data is not encrypted. However, the campus super network administrator would be able to access the data if there is a good reason.

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Last edited by vonalink on Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:08 am; edited 2 times in total
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Pepperoni
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:50 am    Post subject: Re: Recording VOIP calls!!?? Reply with quote Back to top

n8lm wrote:
I came across the software VonaLink and was wondering if its easy to set up and begin recording phone calls on a public network (such as a college campus) or any network for that matter and record Voip calls without the persons knowledge.

This concerns me quite a bit as I do travel with my phone adapter on occasions. What do you guys think? Any tips or suggestions for more secure Voip calls? (even if it requires changing providers).


Federal Law prohibits this type activity. Generally, you may record your own phone activity. The requirement is that one of the conversants must know that the call is being recorded, *or* a specific tone must be transmitted to both parties at a specific interval. Wireless traffic (e.g. cell phone activity) snooping (scanning, evesdropping) penalties are less severe and are not protected by privacy statutes.

If you have privacy concerns, it may be better to alter your activity to exclude phone traffic. Covert messages are better transmitted using code words and phrases, encryption or matched scrambling hardware. (very expensive)
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restart88
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

You're right as to the OP's concerns about a 3rd party eavesdropping and recording. OTOH, I've often wondered about recording a bill collector's call or recording a call to a vender when the individual is doing the recording and the business has a disclaimer that "calls may be recorded for training & quality purposes." No beeps after that warning.
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jcovert
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

vonalink wrote: "if 2 people are plugged into the same network at a school campus, the 2 people cannot record each other's calls or see each other's passwords via packet sniffing even if the data is not encrypted."

That really depends on the network architecture. While most networks are going to use UTP connections from each individual user to switches which will not be sending data not intended for a particular MAC address out other switch ports, there are other architectures that you can run into, and there are ways to fool switches into sending traffic out multiple ports.

There are some obvious cases that don't even involve spoofing.

For example, in networks where there are still hubs rather than switches, anyone on the hub can sniff the traffic for all users of the hub. On a school campus, there may be old equipment, or someone who wants to get the packets might simply get access to the switch closet and slip in a hub connecting his port and your port.

A much more common example would be a WiFi connection. Even if the WiFi channel is encrypted, everyone on the channel will be able to sniff all packets on the channel.

Others have written about deliberate recording by one of the parties to the call. While it is true that under Federal law, any party to the call may record the call without the knowledge of the other parties, there are state laws which apply to the location of the party making the recording which may require that all parties to the call be aware that it is being taped. The "beep" tone is no longer required if there has been an announcement, recorded or otherwise, in the call saying that this call may be recorded.

There was a good question a few back -- if you call a company and the recording says that the call may be monitored -- you might think that would allow you to do so without telling the CSrep, but I wouldn't want to get caught in a court of law on that case. It YOU that's being told that the call might be monitored BY the CSrep's employer. No one has told the CSrep that YOU might record the call, and if you're in a state where you are required to tell everyone that you're making a recording, you better not do it without permission.

/john
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vonalink
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
A much more common example would be a WiFi connection. Even if the WiFi channel is encrypted, everyone on the channel will be able to sniff all packets on the channel.


It is not so simple to sniff WiFi packets. Most wireless network adapters do not allow promiscuous mode.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I usually don't post things without checking them first.

Before posting my previous reply, I tested this with an Apple G4 Powerbook. en1 is the WiFi interface.

sudo tcpdump -Avvvs 0 -i en1 host <another-laptop>

Got all the packets.

/john
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vonalink
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I stand corrected. Using a softphone on a open wireless network would not be a good idea. Same as using clear text passwords...

I believe that n8lm was concerned about plugging his/her wired phone adapter into a public network ?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

vonalink wrote:
I stand corrected. Using a softphone on a open wireless network would not be a good idea. Same as using clear text passwords...

I believe that n8lm was concerned about plugging his/her wired phone adapter into a public network ?


There really is no difference in security between an open wireless network and hardwired. They're both unencrypted, and any joker with some TCP/IP knowledge can fish out your phone call. The network infrastructure can be a major help or major PITA to said joker, and good commercial-grade routers will resist spoofing/poisoning (at least all of ones I've installed in recent years do). Also, router spoofing on a major network requires some serious computing and network power. BitTorrent is rampant at college campuses and many public APs. Are you ready to handle the full 100Mbit/1000Mbit connection (or more) being pumped into your computer? Probably not. Your computer won't be happy, nor will the users be happy when your computer bites the big one and the whole network grinds to a halt.

What do you think the Voip WiFi phones run on? They're just running regular SIP over an unencrypted WiFi connection. I don't think the Vonage-labelled UTStarcom phones support any form of encryption, but I've not played with one personally. Overall, it's still easier to tap analog lines than Voip. I have an Alltel UTStarcom PPC6700 smartphone and run a SIP phone on there all the time without any hesitation. Could someone listen in? Of course. Could they do the same if I was on the cell or land line? Of course. I run encryption on networks I'm commonly on, but I do occasionally run on public unencrypted networks. If I'm really concerned about security, I'll SSH to my servers and let the call go out through there.

If voice security is a real, legitimate concern, you should already have a secure phone line or you and the person you're talking to already have encryption equipment. Another alternative, which I'm seeing an increase in gov't use, is to run an SSH or VPN tunnel and do SIP Voip directly to the other party... I'm also starting to see secured SIP proxy servers, where they have an entire SIP PBX running behind a VPN or SSH tunnels and SSH tunnels between PBXs.

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