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Types of VoIP Hacking and Countermeasures

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  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 25 Mar, 2022

Voice over IP or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a collection of different technologies and practices that allows the delivery of voice communication, images, audio, video, through packet data networks over the internet protocol. This makes it very cost-efficient, flexible, and various other advantages as compared to the older telephonic systems. Hence, it became popular.

VoIP Model

VoIP Hacking:

Voice-over IP hacking is a type of attack carried out by the malicious user for the purpose of infiltrating the phone system or unauthorized access to the phone system in order to steal the data. This lets the malicious user listen to all the conversations and calls, steal critical information, to make calls and international calls to frame up huge bills. These attacks usually happen when an insider unknowingly gives out information or conspires with the malicious actors. The severity of these attacks could range from being totally useless to even dangerous enough to make the organization go bankrupt. These attacks could also lead to other fraudulent activities such as impersonation, phishing, accessing customers’ information and using them like using their credit cards, extorting them, etc.

Types of VoIP Hacking:

  • Unauthorized use: Unauthorized use attack is when the malicious users make use of the organizations’ phone network to make calls to other people or organizations pretending to be someone from the organization. The unauthorized malicious users use auto-dialing and robocalling software with the organization’s phone network system. When a recipient picks up the call, a prerecorded message plays which might ask them to do some ask such as calling the malicious users, entering their information or entering their bank or credit card details, etc. These can be countered by periodically monitoring the history, call logs, etc.
  • Toll fraud: When these malicious actors make international calls to other people and organizations. As the charge of these calls can be fairly expensive and the bill that will be charged from the organization’s account can often be damaging. This is called toll fraud.
  • Spoofing of Caller ID:  In this type of attack, the malicious actors use forged caller IDs and control them in coordination with other attacks.
  • Eavesdropping: Eavesdropping is when an attacker listens to the business calls, conversations, voicemails, without the user’s knowledge. It usually only happens when the data is unencrypted or shared over an unencrypted and unsecured channel.
  • Call Tampering: Incall tempering malicious actor tempers a phone call. For example, the attacker can inject some noise packets to make the quality of the call bad, or the attacker could hold back the packet delivery in order to create disturbance in communication.
  • Buffer Overflow Attacks: A buffer is a temporary area for data storage. When more data (than was originally allocated to be stored) gets placed by a program or system process, the extra data overflow. It causes some of that data to leak out into other buffers, which can corrupt or overwrite whatever data they were holding. In a buffer-overflow attack, the extra data sometimes holds specific instructions for actions intended by a hacker or malicious user; for example, the data could trigger a response that damages files, change data, or unveils private information.
  • DoS Attacks:n A DDoS attack, the attacker tries to make a particular service unavailable by directing continuous and huge traffic from multiple end systems.
  • Viruses and malware: A virus is a fragment of code embedded in a legitimate program. Viruses are self-replicating and are designed to infect other programs. Malware is software that gets into the system without user consent with an intention to steal private and confidential data of the user that including bank details and passwords.
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks: Man In The Middle Attack implies an active attack where the attacker/Hacker creates a connection between the victims and sends messages between them or may capture all the data packets from the victims.

Countermeasures:

  • Choose a trusted VoIP provider with a good track record.
  • Admin access should be implemented in a controlled and careful manner.
  • VPNs should be used in case of remote access.
  • Detailed network tests should be done periodically.
  • VPNs should be used and their endpoint filtering should be enabled.
  • Regularly checking history, access, and call logs.
  • Passwords used should be strong.
  • 2FA should be enabled.
  • VoIP firmware and OS should always be up to date.
  • Organizations should have more security professionals.
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