Aruba strengthens wireless voice security

FRAMINGHAM (04/05/2004) - Aruba Wireless Networks Inc. this week unveiled a software application to protect VoIP calls on wireless LANs.

Secure Voice runs on Aruba's WLAN switches. The application relies on key features of the switch operating system to identify and authenticate voice traffic. The software also checks to make sure enough bandwidth is available to meet quality standards. If not, the user hears a busy signal.

Secure Voice is designed to compensate for weak protection measures typically found in VoIP handsets today. Instead of using 802.1x and related authentication measures, handsets typically rely on static Wireless Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption keys or MAC addresses, says Keerti Melkote, vice president of marketing for the San Jose, Calif., WLAN vendor. These techniques can be broken or spoofed, yielding information that an attacker could use to strike at the data network, he says.

Secure Voice works with Aruba's built-in firewall to lock the handset into talking only with the Call Director, so that its MAC address can't be exploited to access other servers.

Other SecureVoice features include:

-A technique to let a handset shut down power until the network alerts it to an incoming call.

-Measuring radio signal strength from several access points to locate a handset within a few meters.

-Secure Voice will be included with purchases of the Aruba switch software.

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