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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 2:08 pm    Post subject: security? Reply with quote Back to top

How secure is the Vonage system to eavesdropping? I almost never use my credit card over the phone, but once in a blue moon I need to. How does Vonage security compare with POTS?

PS. I just registered with this forum, but when I try to log in, my account is suspended. ???? I don't yet have Vonage service, but am thinking about it.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Eavesdropping on an IP call only requires a good hacker with a "sniffer" program. Encryption could be added for the voice; however, encryption/decryption requires lots of CPU horsepower AND induces latency. The amount of latency could have an impact on the Quality of Service. In other words, just bits and pieces of a conversation.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

FBI targets Net phoning
Last modified: July 29, 2003, 4:00 AM PDT
By Declan McCullagh
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

http://news.com.com/2100-1028_3-5056424.html

"In an interview, however, a Vonage representative said the Voip provider had never received a request from a police agency to do a live voice interception, though the company has been served with subpoenas for stored customer information. "We have been subpoenaed, I believe, several times for call records and call data," Vonage's Brooke Schulz said. "We've responded to those subpoenas very, very quickly. Because of the way our service is set up, we have all this data on hand, and it's very easy to do."

Schulz said if Vonage were to receive a proper request to perform a live voice interception, it would be trivial to comply with, because all the company's Voip calls flow through central servers. "We are able to copy the data stream and send it in tandem to another location," Schulz said. "You can essentially send it to the law enforcement agency you need to send it to, as long as they have the proper equipment and the proper interconnect."

Because Vonage's network already is accessible to police armed with a legal wiretap order, Schulz said she was mystified by the FBI's proposal to the FCC. "We really don't know where it's coming from," she said."
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 2:18 am    Post subject: Encryption and Eavesdropping? Reply with quote Back to top

Hello,

I am just wondering how easy would it be for a hacker to use a network sniffer to record/listen to a Vonage conversation. Are the packets somewhat encoded if not encrypted? Are the packets some published format or it is proprietary?

Thanks.
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doctorgonzo
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

For hackers to be able to snif the packets, they would need to have access to the servers that the traffic goes through. This isn't necessarily easy.

I wouldn't worry too much about hackers intercepting phone calls to get credit card information. It is far easier to go through the trash or copy down the number when you give the waitress at a restaurant your card to pay the bill. There are so many easy ways to get this information; why would a hacker go through the trouble of intercepting Vonage calls on the off chance that a caller would be repeating a credit card number at that instant?
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Keith
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

So is Vonage saying that they keep copies of our calls on file?
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2003 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

If I plug Vonage into a LAN, wouldn't someone on the LAN segment (or whatever) be able to sniff all the packets - even without access to the server?

Thanks.
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artin
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2003 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Anyone who is privy to your internal network or has access to any point at which your ATA's data packets go through could assemble the packet conversation. As the what end the data is encrypted I'm not sure. I would assume at a minimum some sort of SSL encryption would be used or something that SIP has to disallow easy decryption.

The only unfortunate thing is, encryption isn't fool proof. But then again neither is the neighborhood phreaker screwing around with my copper pair making phone calls. I think it's a small risk but a possible risk. Its a question the more technical folks that deal with SIP and the protocol encapsulation at Vonage could answer but I'm not sure who that would be.
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Choaga
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2003 11:12 am    Post subject: Keeping records Reply with quote Back to top

Keith wrote:
So is Vonage saying that they keep copies of our calls on file?


I believe it's required under fed law (FCC) that ALL commercial phone/communications outfits keep records of calls... not just Vonage. I could be wrong but, just take a look back at some of the more highly-publicized cases and you'll see that the law enforcement agencies used phone records to establish times, numbers called from/to, and locale of suspects/defendants. Rolling Eyes
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doctorgonzo
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2003 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

They obviously keep records of who we called (that's why we can see our call log), but they probably don't keep copies of the actual calls made. The storage requirements would probably become onerous quickly. Plus, I am sure that for liability reasons they don't want it anyway.
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