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jfitzpa503
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

you can listen into cordless phone conversations via any scanner that can pick up the frequency.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The likely hood that a scanner is picking up a 2.4ghz cordless phone is very unlikely. 99% of all scanners can not go up that high on that frequency range plus these are digital signals not analog which means even if you had a scanner that high up you would not hear anything other than tones like the old dialup modem sounds. Also not to mention that most cordless phone changes channels every few seconds, and to boot they would need to be within a block of the base for the phone. Someone either has an illegal tap on your line or like someone mentioned above they plugged into your box outside your house or the person you were talking too. If you are concerned about someone listening to your conversations I would be more inclined to call Vonage on your end and have the person you were talking to you call their phone provider and have them investigate the issue. Also can you rule out that someone is not pulling your leg as well? Either way you have a problem.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

He says he's using Vonage over DSL for his calls. It is 99.9999999% doubtful that someone could tap into this digital line with any more success than the Spread Spectrum digital phone he is using. Surmounting that obstacle, the wiretapper would have the additional burden of decrypting the digital packets being sent to the Vonage device.

The only other alternative is that there is a POTS service attached to this line and he picked up the POTS phone, by mistake, to make his call. He should check for signs of alligator clips at his terminals and black vans down the street.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

would purchasing a linksys wrt54gl do any good?
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howiewifi
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

That would not make any difference, unless someone is connected to your wireless LAN and accessing your wired Vonage service. I would guess that the problem more likely is on the Mexico end - particularly since the call looking for money went to them, not to you.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

howiewifi wrote:
That would not make any difference, unless someone is connected to your wireless LAN and accessing your wired Vonage service. I would guess that the problem more likely is on the Mexico end - particularly since the call looking for money went to them, not to you.


Exceedingly astute observation! I think you've got it!
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I'm with either of the two guys who say the problem is most likely on the Mexico end, or the guy who mentions the scanner. We're not talking about someone who just picks the scanner up at Radio Shack and thats it. Those scanners are very easily modded to pick up any variety of frequencies. And certain cordless phones don't have very much in the way of security. I've been around guys who get every different police band and know of every call going on within their county as well as lived in a condo briefly where one of my phones would pick up practically any other conversation going on in my immediate neighborhood (say a circle of about 50 condo units). Just casually listening from time to time (hey some of this stuff was real entertaining), I managed to figure out all the different affairs that were going on, who's kid was a sociopath, who's husband was lousy, well sucked at life and all sorts of interesting tid bits. I'd have to place my money on the scanner idea. I mean here on LI and all across the country I imagine, kids use them to orchestrate their late night street races so they can clear out before the PIGs arrive. And I suppose you have to find some way to entertain yourself in the off hours when there are no races, so possibly they were listening in on your call. Either way who cares. Were you in fact at any point the victim of an abduction? Did in fact any money exchange hands in satisfaction of your ransom demands. Are we possibly marginally paranoid. Unless you are some sort of trust fund brat with 500Million plus laying around I doubt seriously anybody plans on abducting you (oh and if you were, rest assured, the trustees will never make a pay out in satisfaction of a ransom.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Is it possible to intercept a Vonage call?

Absolutely.

But it's easier to intercept the side of the call that is on the actual plain old telephone system (POTS). This includes your house wiring (if you are using it), cordless signal intercept (and unless that digital signal is encrypted, which is somewhat rare, it is still subject to interception and eavesdropping even if it is digital), the Vonage->POTS gateway in the US, any one of a number of POTS->POTS gateways between the US and Mexico, or the endpoint in Mexico.

Plain Old Telephone signal is carried across two wires at the endpoints. If you have access to those wires, "tapping" the line requires nothing more sophisticated or more expensive than a simple telephone and a pair of wire strippers. If you are using a non-encrypted cordless phone, forget it. All that takes is a modded scanner, which is not hard to get.

Internet packets are somewhat harder to intercept, and require access to somewhere that all or most of your call is passing through, like your home network, or the routers at your ISP or Vonage's. The equipment and technology is not that expensive, but it's harder to get a complete signal, and less likely you'll be certain of intercepting it unless you are at one of the endpoints, very near where the POTS wires are. And the POTS wires nearby are easier to exploit.

It's far, FAR more likely they intercepted the calls locally, off either POTS endpoint of the call (yours or the one in Mexico).

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I'd only buy the scanner idea if the cordless phones in question are analog. Being an Amatuer Radio Operator for twenty years I know you simply can not modify most scanners to even get up in that frequency range and if you were to modify them if still doesn't get past the digital part of the cordless phones. You must be listening to people that are still using the 900mhz analog or 2.4ghz analog phones, Unless you have a very high end scanner you can not listen to digital signals, your average radio shack scanner even modified is still analog which again will not work being most cordless phones are digital these days. I agree with the last post it is far easier to tap into a landline than cordless unless the cordless is analog or if the person listening has a very very high end digital scanner which is very expensive and not readily available oh also there is the spectrum issue where most digital phones change channels every few seconds two which also adds the difficulty of listening. I almost feel safer on a 2.4ghz digital or 5.8ghz digital cordless than I do on a wired phone. Bottom line digital phones have far more security than a landline since all you have to do is plug any .99 phone into someone's box outside their home to listen. Another example of the digital issue how many of you remember the old commodore 64 with tape drive for data storage? It used a standard audio cassette to store your data, now did you ever listen to the tape in your cassette player that digital signal sounded like nothing more than tones. Digital is not analog and does not have to be encrypted to be effective. I am not saying it is not possible all I am saying the mods to any scanner and the price of a scanner that can do it makes it very unlikely.


P.S. Just thought of another example, HDTV broadcasts on the same frequency rage as the current analog channels but without a digital tuner in your tv or some type of converter you can not watch the channels. An analog tv can not receive digital TV channels without being converted or without a digital tuner same is true with the phones the analog scanners you but from radio shack and modify to receive that frequency range still cannot recieve the signal because the mods can not make an analog scanner receive digital signals you need a digital scanner that is modified to receive that range and they are far more expensive and unlikely to be used by the average person.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

AGREED!

There is a lot of recent drama in many forums from people who have less than ten posts. They seem to provide incomplete information when instructed regarding the exact nature of the problem and information to provide, leaving those who are attempting to assist them, guessing at the problem and fishing for information. It is no surprise, then, when the solution to their problem remains elusive. There is, currently, a wealth of information regarding solutions to these stated problems in the Vonage help pages, however, these pages do not seem to be consulted by these individuals prior to consulting these boards. The information they provide about their problems is, generally, so sketchy as to be unusable, even when the request is made more than once by good natured folks who just want to help.

Regarding this situation in this thread, it just seems that any kidnapping and ransom threat would keep the victims too busy with law enforcement to back-handedly suggest on this board that Vonage security is, somehow, lacking. It was others who had to point out that there was a possibility that the Mexico end may be to blame. His premise never included a failing in the Mexican telecom and his presumption, at all times, was that the security failing was with Vonage. He has reported a Federal Crime in this forum, but has never said that he has contacted law enforcement to report it. It smells like . . . like . . . . ummm . . . RED HERRING!

PS: For those who would ask, "What does red herring have to do with this thread?", I would say - EVERYTHING!"
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