Seven Deadliest Unified Communications Attacks

Seven Deadliest Unified Communications Attacks

1st Edition - April 22, 2010

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  • Author: Dan York
  • eBook ISBN: 9781597495486
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781597495479

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Seven Deadliest Unified Communications Attacks provides a comprehensive coverage of the seven most dangerous hacks and exploits specific to Unified Communications (UC) and lays out the anatomy of these attacks including how to make your system more secure. You will discover the best ways to defend against these vicious hacks with step-by-step instruction and learn techniques to make your computer and network impenetrable. The book describes the intersection of the various communication technologies that make up UC, including Voice over IP (VoIP), instant message (IM), and other collaboration technologies. There are seven chapters that focus on the following: attacks against the UC ecosystem and UC endpoints; eavesdropping and modification attacks; control channel attacks; attacks on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunks and public switched telephone network (PSTN) interconnection; attacks on identity; and attacks against distributed systems. Each chapter begins with an introduction to the threat along with some examples of the problem. This is followed by discussions of the anatomy, dangers, and future outlook of the threat as well as specific strategies on how to defend systems against the threat. The discussions of each threat are also organized around the themes of confidentiality, integrity, and availability. This book will be of interest to information security professionals of all levels as well as recreational hackers.

Key Features

  • Knowledge is power, find out about the most dominant attacks currently waging war on computers and networks globally
  • Discover the best ways to defend against these vicious attacks; step-by-step instruction shows you how
  • Institute countermeasures, don’t be caught defenseless again, and learn techniques to make your computer and network impenetrable


Information security professionals of all levels; recreational hackers

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments

    About the Author


    Chapter 1 The Unified Communications Ecosystem

        Anatomy of Attacks against the UC Ecosystem

        Dangers Associated with the UC Ecosystem


             Toll Fraud

             Exposure of Information

        Future of Attacks against the UC Ecosystem

             Social Software and Services

             Public Versus Private Information


             Mashups and APIs

             It’s All about the Cloud

             Bright Shiny Objects

        How to Defend Your UC Ecosystem

             Strategy #1: Identify All Ecosystem Components

             Strategy #2: Develop Security Plans for All Components

             Strategy #3: Engage in Holistic Ecosystem Testing


    Chapter 2 Insecure Endpoints

        Anatomy of Attacks against UC Endpoints

             General DoS Attacks

             Finding Endpoints to Attack

             Default Passwords

             Hidden Accounts

             Undocumented Services

             Web Exploits

             Protocol Fuzzing

             Local Files

        Dangers of Attacks on Endpoints

             Denial of Service or Availability

             Toll Fraud

             Eavesdropping or Exposure of Information


        The Future of Attacks against UC Endpoints

             More Powerful Endpoints

             Migration into Software

             Commodity Operating Systems

             Heterogeneous Deployments


             Massively Distributed Endpoints

        How to Defend Your Endpoints

             Strategy #1: Identify All Connected Endpoints

             Strategy #2: Change Default Passwords!

             Strategy #3: Turn off Unnecessary Services

             Strategy #4: Develop Patch Plans for All Endpoints

             Strategy #5: Understand How to Update and Secure Remote Endpoints


    Chapter 3 Eavesdropping and Modification

        Anatomy of Eavesdropping and Modification Attacks

             Getting between the Endpoints

             Using Wireshark to Capture Voice

             Using Wireshark to Capture IM Traffic

             Capturing Audio, Video, and IM using Other Tools

             Modification Attacks


        Dangers of Eavesdropping and Modification Attacks

             Exposure of Confidential Information

             Business Disruption


             Loss of Trust

        The Future of Eavesdropping and Modification Attacks

             Increasing Market Size

             All-IP Enterprise Networks

             Cloud and Hosted Systems

             Federation between UC Systems

             Continued Endpoint Distribution

        How to Defend against Eavesdropping and Modification Attacks

             Strategy #1: Encryption of Voice and Video

             Strategy #2: Encryption of IM


    Chapter 4 Control Channel Attacks: Fuzzing, DoS, SPIT, and Toll Fraud

        Anatomy of Control Channel Attacks

             Eavesdropping Attacks

             Modification Attacks

             Denial-of-Service Attacks

             Elevation of Authority or Password Cracking


             Spam for Internet Telephony

        Dangers of Control Channel Attacks

             Toll Fraud

             Denial of Service

             Exposure of Confidential Information

             Patterns in Aggregation


             Loss of Trust

        Future of Control Channel Attacks

             Integration with Social Networks and Services

             PSTN Bypass

        How to Defend against Control Channel Attacks

             Strategy #1: Encrypting the Control Channel

             Strategy #2: Limit and Secure Interconnection Points

             Strategy #3: Use Strong Authentication

             Strategy #4: Deploy SBCs or SIP-Aware Firewalls

             Strategy #5: Auditing or Monitoring


    Chapter 5 SIP Trunking and PSTN Interconnection

        Anatomy of Attacks on SIP Trunks and PSTN Interconnection

             Understanding SIP Trunking

             Attacks against SIP Trunking

        Dangers of Attacks on SIP Trunks and PSTN Interconnection

             Toll Fraud


             Corporate Espionage/Exposure of Confidential Information


             Spam for Internet Telephony

        The Future of Attacks on SIP Trunks and PSTN Interconnection

             Reasons for Growth

             Increased Market Size

             More ITSP Entrants with Few Cares about Security

             Expansion of the PSTN Trust Boundary

        How to Defend against Attacks on SIP Trunks and PSTN Interconnection

             Strategy #1: Understand Your ITSP

             Strategy #2: Establish a Secure Transport Layer

             Strategy #3: Ensure Strong Authentication Is in Place

             Strategy #4: Consider the Same Service Provider as Your Data/Internet Provider

             Strategy #5: Establish a Business Continuity/DR Plan


    Chapter 6 Identity, Spoofing, and Vishing

        Anatomy of Attacks on Identity

             Caller ID Spoofing on the PSTN

             Identity Modification at the Originating Endpoint

             Identity Modification at Source System

             Identity Modification in Transit


        Dangers of Attacks on Identity


             Identity Theft

             Social Engineering

             Reputation Damage


             Erosion of Trust

             Deceiving Automated Systems

        The Future of Attacks on Identity

             Interconnection and Federation

             RFC 4474 SIP Identity and Whatever Comes Next

             Social Identity Systems

        How to Defend against Attacks on Identity

             Strategy #1: Educate Your Users about Potential Threats and What Not to Trust

             Strategy #2: Understand and Lock Down Holes that Allow Spoofing

             Strategy #3: Evaluate Strong Identity Solutions

             Strategy #4: Monitor and Participate in Ongoing Identity Discussions


    Chapter 7 The End of Geography

        Anatomy of Attacks against Distributed Systems

             Attacks against Remote Workers

             Attacks against Branch Offices

             Attacks against Distributed Systems

             Attacks against Cloud-based Services

             Attacks against Federation

        Dangers of Attacks against Distributed Systems





        The Future of Attacks against Distributed Systems


             Social Networks

             New Collaboration Technologies

             Movement into the Cloud

        Geography Does Matter

        How to Defend against Attacks against Distributed Systems

             Strategy #1: Deploy Secure Firewall Traversal Mechanisms

             Strategy #2: Ensure Understanding of Security at Fixed Locations

             Strategy #3: Understand Security Ramifications of Federation

             Strategy #4: Ensure Secure Authentication

             Strategy #5: Secure Your Connections to Services in the Cloud




Product details

  • No. of pages: 224
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Syngress 2010
  • Published: April 22, 2010
  • Imprint: Syngress
  • eBook ISBN: 9781597495486
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781597495479

About the Author

Dan York

Dan York (CISSP) is the Best Practices Chair for the VOIP Security Alliance (VOIPSA) as well as the producer of "Blue Box: The VoIP Security Podcast" where since October 2005 he and co-host Jonathan Zar have discussed VOIP security news and interviewed people involved in the field. Dan is employed as the Director of Conversations at Voxeo Corporation heading up the company's communication through both traditional and new/social media. Previously, Dan served in Voxeo's Office of the CTO focused on analyzing/evaluating emerging technology, participating in industry standards bodies and addressing VoIP security issues. Since the mid-1980s Dan has been working with online communication technologies and helping businesses and organizations understand how to use and participate in those new media. Dan frequently presents at conferences, has authored multiple books on Linux and networking and writes extensively online at sites such as and

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