Researchers at the Warsaw University of Technology in Poland have studied the characteristics of voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls in an attempt to gain a better understanding of ordinary traffic. Security remains an issue for VoIP calls, which can be hijacked and used to send confidential information over the Internet. Wojciech Mazurczyk and colleagues decided to study ordinary VoIP calls so experts would have a way to compare and contrast regular calls with those that have been embedded with stolen data. VoIP calls can be compromised by changing the order in which the digital packets are sent, or by deliberately delaying certain packets that have embedded data, a technique known as Lost Audio Packet Steganography (LACK). The team’s research shows that packets are not normally re-ordered in a way for hiding data, so attacks that re-order data are not a real threat. However, LACK attacks would be difficult to spot because of the routine loss of data packets.
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