Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

SNOCER — Result In Brief

Project ID: 5892
Funded under: FP6-SME
Country: Germany

Low-cost security tools for VoIP services

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services enable telephone-like conversations using Internet protocol-based networks. EU-funded researchers provided low-cost security enhancement tools equally valuable to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as to the VoIP sector as a whole.
Low-cost security tools for VoIP services
VoIP services are similar in nature to Web and email services using servers available through the Internet and based on standardised and open software and hardware technologies.

Similarities also include reliability and security issues, not only temporal or structural network, software and hardware failures but also denial of service (DoS) attacks.

European researchers working on the ‘Low cost tools for secure and highly available voice over internet protocol (VoIP) communication services’ (Snocer) project set out to develop low-cost reliability and security enhancement tools based on cooperation among independent service providers (ISPs) and ensuring privacy and security of both users and the providers themselves.

Snocer focused on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based network environments. They examined current SIP security mechanisms and weaknesses in the SIP that make it vulnerable to attackers. In particular, given SIP’s heavy reliance on Domain Name System (DNS) servers, the team evaluated attacks on DNS providers with DNS poisoning or irresolvable address requests.

In order to enhance cooperation among ISPs, they considered two types of DNS updates facilitating client connection to a redundant provider set in the case that one of the processing entities fails during an SIP as well as mechanisms for secure authorisation transfer to backup servers.

The Snocer project security enhancement tools now allow VoIP providers to monitor their networks, detect irregularities and automatically execute actions to enhance reliability and security. Low cost makes the tools particularly advantageous for SMEs but the overall characteristics position them to advance the widespread use of VoIP services in general.

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