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Alliance Asks Congress To Consider VoIP Vulnerabilities In Updated Telecom Act

The Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA) has called on Congress to include security recommendations related to securing voice over IP (VoIP) technologies as it reviews the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

According to the CSIA, the pervasiveness of IP-based communication and networking technologies, particularly VoIP, has made the task of protecting security and integrity of the Internet a national priority. The report notes that voice applications over the Internet are vulnerable to many of the same threats as data traffic, including denial of service attacks, worms and viruses. Such threats, the CSIA says, could cripple the information technology dependent critical infrastructure, disable VoIP-based emergency systems and weaken the national response capability in the event of attack.

"Because IP telephony depends solely on the Internet for operating, it is subject to all the same vulnerabilities that our corporate networks face," CSIA executive director Paul Kurtz said in a statement. "As Congress considers revisiting the Telecommunications Act of 1996, CSIA strongly recommends that the serious implications of VoIP cyber attacks be addressed since they can affect critical government services such as 911 and other emergency first responder services."

Among other things, the Alliance has made a number of recommendations for securing VoIP, and has asked Congress to provide support for research into and development of new security technologies. The CSIA, together with the University of North Texas and George Mason University also announced a conference on "Securing Voice Over IP" to be held in Washington, D.C. on June 1 and 2.