Spam gets vocal with VoIP

R.A. Hettinga rah at
Fri Feb 18 05:16:11 PST 2005


The Register

 Biting the hand that feeds IT

Spam gets vocal with VoIP
By John Leyden (john.leyden at
Published Thursday 17th February 2005 08:47 GMT

RSA 2005 We're all learning to live with spam but an even more annoying
nuisance lies just around the corner. Spit (Spam over internet telephony)
is set to become the next pervasive medium for scammers, penis pill
purveyors and the rest.

Internet telephony means cheaper phone calls, a great prospect for
consumers and businesses alike. It also means that advertising messages can
be sent out for next to nothing. And history shows that spammers will take
advantage of any broadcast medium available to them, according to Bruce
Schneier, chief technology officer at Counterpane Internet Security.

Spit has the potential to fill people's voicemail in-boxes with junk, he
says. "Once you get to the point where you have 10 unsolicited commercial
voicemail messages every time you log on people will stop using it or at
least only accept calls from people on their white list."

Schneier thinks it will be difficult to weed out Spit messages, but some
security vendors are considering defence mechanisms. According to David
Thomason, director of security engineering at network security firm
Sourcefire, Spit messages would likely have a pattern. Junk calls matching
that pattern could be blocked in much the same way malign data traffic can
be discarded providing filtering technologies were deployed on the network
Spit messages are sent from, he said. .

Related stories

Users choke on mobile spam
 Trojan infects PCs to generate SMS spam
Phone spam misery looms Stateside
Pssst, wanna spam mobile phones?
Telecom Italia slammed for spam hypocrisy
UK premium rate phone complaints rocket

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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