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Researchers reveal trio of VoIP vulnerabilities

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VoIPshield Laboratories has alerted three of the world's leading IP telephony vendors of new vulnerabilities in their products.

The Canada-based security research firm said that the vulnerabilities in Avaya, Cisco and Nortel products, could, if successfully exploited, affect brand reputation, internal productivity and competitive advantage.

Bogdan Materna, VoIPshield Laboratories' chief technology officer, told SCMagazineUS.com on Friday that the company does not reveal specifics about the vulnerabilities to the public. "We don't want to give hackers information to work from," he said. Materna added that VoIPshield works with VoIP vendors to assist them in reproducing the vulnerabilities in their labs, so that they can take action to create patches.

Avaya, Cisco and Nortel have acknowledged the latest vulnerabilities on their websites, and are issuing their own security advisories.

For example, Cisco said on Wednesday that its call processing platform, Cisco Unified Communications Manager, contains both a denial of service vulnerability and an authentication bypass vulnerability. Information could be exposed and calls interrupted, Cisco said. The flaws affect many products in the latest three generations of Cisco software.

The quantity of VoIP vulnerabilities appears to be increasing because more security researchers are focused on finding them, Lawrence Orans of Gartner told SCMagazineUS.com.

"Three to four years ago, there was far less focus on IP telephony vulnerabilities because the IP telephony installed base was much smaller," Orans said. "In 2008, most of the widely deployed telephony systems have vulnerabilities that permit DOS attacks, privilege escalation and code execution attacks."

Because of these risks, he added, security managers should scan their applications for vulnerabilities on a regular basis and prioritise software patches that resolve critical vulnerabilities.
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