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Perimeter

11/14/2008
02:46 PM
John H. Sawyer
John H. Sawyer
Commentary
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New Tool Makes VoIP An Easy Target

VoIP isn't something that pops up on my radar too often. We're only now just beginning a deployment at my office that will take place during the next couple of weeks, so I'm slowly becoming more aware of what impact it could have. But what really got me thinking about just how secure the upcoming implementation is going to be is the release of a new VoIP security tool, UCSniff, by the Sipera Viper Lab.

VoIP isn't something that pops up on my radar too often. We're only now just beginning a deployment at my office that will take place during the next couple of weeks, so I'm slowly becoming more aware of what impact it could have. But what really got me thinking about just how secure the upcoming implementation is going to be is the release of a new VoIP security tool, UCSniff, by the Sipera Viper Lab.UCSniff is based on Ettercap, one of the best free security tools for performing man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks. The idea behind UCSniff is that security professionals can use it to test for the threat of unauthorized VoIP eavesdropping. This is not an intrusion detection tool like an IDS. It does not detect if others are currently eavesdropping, but whether they could -- like a vulnerability scanner. In other words, UCSniff is the kind of tool that you run and, if successful, take to your VoIP administrator and smack him around with until he realizes the problem.

To get up and running quickly and easily, the authors of the tool have developed and tested UCSniff on the BackTrack Linux LiveCD, considered by many to the best free penetration testing LiveCD available. What I find most impressive is the level of functionality in a first release. After downloading and compiling UCSniff, you can target users based on corporate directory and/or extensions, record entire voice conversations, discover and hop VLANS, perform MitM redirection, and more.

The Sipera Viper Lab has done an amazing job with this tool, and the results are scary -- at least they are depending on your company's VoIP implementation. VoIP is one of those areas that really doesn't get the attention by security professionals it deserves considering just how much sensitive information gets transferred via phone calls. I'm hoping the release of UCSniff will help raise that awareness. I know it'll become a standard part of my pen-testing toolkit.

John H. Sawyer is a Senior Security Engineer on the IT Security Team at the University of Florida. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are his own and do not represent the views and opinions of the UF IT Security Team or the University of Florida. When John's not fighting flaming, malware-infested machines or performing autopsies on blitzed boxes, he can usually be found hanging with his family, bouncing a baby on one knee and balancing a laptop on the other. Special to Dark Reading.

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