VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a popular technology because it offers a variety of benefits traditional phones do not. The benefits include cost savings, video calls, ability to simultaneously transfer files, and use text based communication when needed. Unfortunately, there are a number of Internet security risks consumers must be aware of as well.
Phishing is a common Internet security threat which spans every type of communication platform. VoIP phishing can take place via audio, text, and SMS. The most common phishing strategy is for cybercriminals to place calls posing as legitimate institutions such as banks or email providers.
Audio spam is similar to traditional email spam. Scammers broadcast MP3 recording to users based solely on the user’s name. It is already estimated to account for 10% of all online spam. Audio spam was first seen used for stock “pump and dump” techniques, though it has evolved considerably over the past two years.
VoIP spoofing is when a cybercriminal uses a dedicated server to make calls, while presenting a different identification to the receiver. This Internet security risk is one of the few which can also affect traditional telephones.
VoIP call hijacking is one of the most technologically sophisticated VoIP-related Internet security threats. Most cybercriminals use freely available Wi-Fi hotspots to find their targets. When someone makes a VoIP call, the hacker takes over the call to steal sensitive information.
Man in the Middle Attacks
Man in the middle attacks is an Internet security threat which encompasses almost all online activities. VoIP is particularly vulnerable to man in the middle attacks when it is used via an unsecured Wi-Fi connection. The attacker intercepts the signal and redirects it through their servers. This allows them to do a variety of malicious activities, including the injection of spyware and malware.
Typically, call tampering is a more inconvenient Internet security threat than it is a dangerous one. Most call tampering attacks aim to ruin the call quality by injecting noise packets into the data stream. Another option is to prevent data packets for being delivered at all. These attacks are not typically profitable for hackers, which is why they are less common.
Malware can be distributed by VoIP communication, however it is most often affects it indirectly. Most VoIP users rely on softphones or software which is vulnerable to viruses and malware. Instead of injecting malware via the VoIP connection, it is done ahead of time. A user may unknowingly become infected with the malware months in advance. The malware does not become active until a VoIP connection is established.
Like traditional phones, VoIP users are at risk of third party eavesdropping. Similar to Wi-Fi data snoopers, this Internet security risk is related entirely to data theft. The data is most often stolen for the purpose of identity purpose.
VoIP is heralded as a breakthrough technology for good reason. While it is still a developing technology, it has already provided users a growing number of benefits. Unfortunately, most users don’t associate common Internet security risks with it. To create a holistic Internet security strategy, VoIP communication protection must be included in any Internet security plan.
Guest Post by:
Joy Sarkar believes the internet should be free and open. He strives to inform others about the tools available for avoiding restrictions on the web. Joy enjoys using the fastest US VPN to protect his online security.