TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: More Spam! Get Ready for Spam on Your Net Phone

More Spam! Get Ready for Spam on Your Net Phone

Lisa Minter (
08 Apr 2005 11:14:27 -0700

It was hardly the big conversation topic at the VON conference in San
Jose last week, where companies big and small were pitching their
Voice over Internet Protocol technology and products. But when
conversations at the show turned to security issues, the SPIT started
flying. Not literally, of course.

Jeffrey Citron, chairman and chief executive of Vonage, took questions
after his keynote speech and was asked how he plans to address
security issues with VoIP. Clearly, he wasn't going to share his
security strategy so early.

"The great thing about security is that you don't have to tell
everyone what you're doing," he responded. "But we understand that
SPIT is an issue."

The issue is not only the potential for more telemarketing calls but
also voicemail spam -- the thousands of unsolicited voice messages
that a spammer could send to VoIP voicemail boxes with a simple
click. So far, it's not a major problem. But as VoIP grows over the
next few years, you can expect that 'spitters' will be ready.

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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: For those folks not yet familiar with
the term 'SPIT', it is spam pushed over internet telephones, and it
helps if you understand something about internet telephones and how
they work. If I understand correctly, computers which act as switches
for internet telephony have 'mailboxes' just like the email box you
use for incoming/outgoing email. A piece of voicemail (or 'email')
gets put in your slot, something triggers it to ring your net phone
and the 'email' gets delivered to you, much like when you are using
a Unix computer as I have here, new incoming 'email' triggers a
message on my screen saying 'you have new mail'. Just as I can deliver
this Digest en-masse to many readers using an 'exploder' style
address, I presume spammers can use an 'exploder' address to send
a single peice of 'email' to hundreds or thousands of users. And your
voicemail box holds those pieces of 'email' which cannot get delivered
right now because you are busy on some other 'email'. I am surprised
the spammers (or Spitters) are not busy using them already to deliver
their trash. PAT]

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