UNT to lead multi-university research on vulnerabilities in VoIP

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

DENTON (UNT), Texas The University of North Texas is leading a multi-university project examining the vulnerabilities to computer spammers and hackers in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It is a technology that turns audio signals into digital information that can be distributed or transmitted via the Internet. To further that research, the National Science Foundation has issued $600,000 in grants to the schools working on this program

The three year project will look at topics including how to prevent voice spam prevention, denial of service attacks on VoIP systems, and dependability of 911 service. The goal is to identify any potential vulnerability before any damage is done. It's estimated that 24 million U.S. households will be using VoIP by 2008.

Dr. Ram Dantu, assistant professor of computer science and engineering at UNT, says, "As VoIP grows in acceptance globally, it will be impossible to encrypt it. At the same time, customers will want to be able to receive calls from anybody, anywhere. The issue will be how to manage this."

Using a computer and a standard Internet connection, VoIP users can make toll-free phone calls to anywhere. Several companies, including Vonage and AT&T, are offering the service to businesses and consumers.

UNT is the lead research institution on this project. It will also include researchers and facilities at Columbia University, Purdue University and the University of California-Davis. Dantu is supervising students at UNT , the University of Texas-Dallas and George Mason University who are working on this project.

Dantu says this project shows the growing importance of UNT as a major research university. He says, "We need to expedite research into VoIP security issues. This project is very important for the nation as a whole."

Dantu can be reached at (940) 565-2822.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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