Researchers seek to save VOIP from security threats

With VOIP starting to live up to some of the hype, university researchers are looking to ensure that the technology's momentum in corporate and residential markets won't be ruined by myriad security threats.

The National Science Foundation this week said it has issued US$600,000 to the University of North Texas to spearhead development of a multi-university test bed to study VOIP security. Other participants are Columbia University, Purdue University and the University of California-Davis.

VOIP spam, denials of service, 911 services and quality of service will be among the areas targeted for research during the three-year project. The research will also look at vulnerabilities that emerge from the integration of VOIP and legacy networks.

The group of schools plans to disseminate its findings widely to technology developers, academia and others involved in network convergence.

The project is being led by Ram Dantu, an assistant professor at the University of North Texas in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Dantu ( is co-chairman of an upcoming workshop ( on VOIP security to be held in Washington, D.C., on June 1 and 2.

VOIP security is an issue that vendors have been tackling as well. A group of them joined forces last year to form the VOIP Security Alliance (

For the latest on network-oriented research at university and other labs, go to Network World's Alpha Doggs blog.

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