Feeds

Cisco VoIP bug poses eavesdropping risk

Noise on the wire

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

A bug involving 7900 Series IP phones from Cisco creates a means for hackers to eavesdrop on calls.

The flaw stems from security shortcomings in the Extension Mobility feature of the phones, which allows users to configure a Cisco IP phone as their own. The feature is disabled by support, which is just as well because when enabled the feature fails to encrypt signalling communications between a device and an internal web server. This, in turn, creates a means for miscreants to sniff out authentication credentials. These credentials might subsequently be misused to cut off users or eavesdrop on streaming media connections associated with calls.

However, an attack along these lines will only succeed in cases where would-be hackers are already in possession of valid Extension Mobility authentication credentials. Attackers would also need to have access to a targeted network. Although remote hacking is theoretically possible, a bigger danger would appear to stem from internal attacks.

In a throwback to the early days of wiretapping, successful attacks based on the vulnerability leave a tell-tale noise on the wire.

"Internal testing by Cisco also revealed that the described attack produced static noise on the IP phone while it was under attack," Cisco said in an advisory that explains the issue and details possible workarounds.

The network giant credits researcher Joffrey Czarney of Telindus with discovering the flaw. Czarney presented a paper on his research at the recent Hack.Lu 2007 security conference, which was held last month in Luxembourg. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.