Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Apple might force Facebook to change how its apps handle voice calls - Engadget

Apple might force Facebook to change how its apps handle voice calls - Engadget

Apple might force Facebook to change how its apps handle voice calls - Engadget

Posted: 06 Aug 2019 12:06 PM PDT

The change could have the biggest impact on WhatsApp, which allegedly uses VOIP to enable end-to-end encryption. But Facebook isn't alone. Other messaging app developers use VOIP to keep their apps running in the background, and they'll have to adapt to these changes, too. The update will be part of the September iOS 13 release, but developers have until April 2020 to comply.

In a statement provided to The Information, a Facebook spokesperson said:

"The changes to the upcoming iOS releases are not insignificant, but we are in conversations with Apple on how best to address. To be clear—we are using the PushKit VoIP API to deliver a world-class, private messaging experience, not for the purpose of collecting data."

When Apple first announced the change at its Worldwide Developers Conference, it said doing so would help it protect privacy and improve the performance of its devices. But some say the change is a way for Apple to challenge Messenger, which competes with iMessage. As previous reports revealed, the practice of running apps in the background also drains phone batteries. Theoretically, prohibiting apps from continuously running VOIP might improve battery life, as well as protect users' data.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em: Telkom goes all-in on VoIP - TechCentral

Posted: 13 Aug 2019 01:52 AM PDT

You know legacy circuit-switched voice is living on borrowed time when the granddaddy of the technology in South Africa, Telkom, announces it's wholeheartedly embracing voice over Internet protocol (VoIP).

The telecommunications operator said on Tuesday that it is introducing new VoIP plans for business customers, offering up to 10 lines together unlimited calls to both fixed and mobile numbers for a fixed monthly fee.

Telkom said the new calling plans, which are "crafted" for its PBX customers, are "competitively priced and customers will see immediate savings on their calling usage".

The company has launched a VoIP voice plan, offering calls at 30c/minute to Telkom fixed and mobile numbers (no matter the distance), 50c/minute for calls to other mobile and fixed operators and — significantly — free on-net VoIP calls (see table below).

Source: Telkom

It is also offering a plan for R1 599 that provides unlimited voice calls to all South African networks (with a fair-use policy) along with five voice sessions (or SIP lines).

A R2 999 plan also offers unlimited calls and 10 SIP lines, also with a fair-use policy applied.

Data usage is zero-rated if companies sign up to a Telkom broadband package, it said.

Telkom has also launched a VoIP solution called IP Voice, which caters for business customers with independent single lines, the company said. This is offered in its digital subscriber line and fibre broadband portfolio. — (c) 2019 NewsCentral Media

How can organizations address VoIP security threats? - TechTarget

Posted: 15 Jul 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Threats to voice over IP calls are similar to threats faced by any other data transmission. One common VoIP security threat is the distributed denial-of-service attack. These attacks bombard an interface with massive amounts of data packets to prevent the flow of regular traffic. Threats from DDoS attacks can be mitigated with a good firewall. Most cloud-based VoIP providers will include a firewall with their VoIP software.

Another threat, known as an evil twin, occurs when a wireless access point is mimicked in order to phish information. Public wireless networks are particularly vulnerable to this kind of attack if they aren't password-protected or encrypted. Users should exercise extreme caution when using a public hotspot.

When users sign on with an evil twin interface, their username and password information becomes compromised. In the case of VoIP phone calls, spoken words, phone tone presses and other information may be compromised. A softphone compromised by an evil twin would enable an attacker to spoof, listen to and make calls on someone's behalf. Additionally, if the wrong people gain access, VoIP systems can fall victim to call fraud.

Call jacking and man-in-the-middle attacks can also be VoIP security threats. These attacks occur when Session Initiation Protocol traffic is intercepted and the server is tricked into thinking its participating in the call. Call jacking and main-in-the-middle attacks tend to occur less frequently but can be thwarted with the use of a VPN and encryption. In addition, desktops that use softphones should be equipped with antivirus and antimalware software.

A simple but important thing you can do for VoIP -- and overall network -- security is to remind users not to open attachments from unknown senders. Additionally, users should confirm any suspicious links or attachments from known senders. IT should train users to verify email signatures to check for spoofing. Having antivirus and antimalware software on the server side is another good idea. Some VoIP providers have protective software that can do a deep packet inspection. Be sure to continuously patch servers with the latest updates to minimize the potential for new VoIP security threats.

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