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Researchers find 'troubling security breaches' with Cisco's VoIP phone technology.

Washington, Jan 8 ( ANI ): Researchers have found serious vulnerabilities in Cisco's voice over internet protocol (VoIP) telephones, devices used around the world by a broad range of networked organizations from governments to banks to major corporations, and beyond, according to a report.

Columbia Engineering's Computer Science PhD candidate Ang Cui and Computer Science Professor Salvatore have discovered troubling security breaches with Cisco's VoIP phone technology.

Cui demonstrated how they can easily insert malicious code into a Cisco VoIP phone (any of the 14 Cisco Unified IP Phone models) and start eavesdropping on private conversations-not just on the phone but also in the phone's surroundings-from anywhere in the world.

"It's not just Cisco phones that are at risk. All VoIP phones are particularly problematic since they are everywhere and reveal our private communications," Stolfo said.

"It's relatively easy to penetrate any corporate phone system, any government phone system, any home with Cisco VoIP phones-they are not secure," he added.

Cui and Stolfo analyzed the phones' firmware (the software running in the computer inside the phone) and they were able to identify many vulnerabilities.

They are particularly concerned with embedded systems that are widely used and networked on the Internet, including VoIP phones, routers, and printers, and have focused their research on developing new advanced security technology to protect these systems.

"Binary firmware analysis is commonly used to identify faulty software by the 'white hat' hackers and security scientists and researchers like our team. We performed this analysis to demonstrate a new defense technology, called Software Symbiotes, that protects them from exploitation," Stolfo said.

Software Symbiotes is designed to safeguard embedded systems from malicious code injection attacks into these systems, including routers and printers. ( ANI )


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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Jan 8, 2013
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