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Unified Communications

New VoIP Security Problem

February 12, 2008

Tom Keating alerted to me a new phone hack which is for now targeting SNOM IP phones.

The big hack involves the ability of some VoIP phones to make phone calls from the Web interface using a simple web POST request. The Snom 32x supports this feature which along with some security vulnerabilities is what GNUCitizen exploited to have some real fun, like ya know, making an outbound call using a spoofed CallerID.

Hackers will need the IP address of the phone being targeted to launch the attack, but using a simple scanner they can use a cross-site scripting attack to hack the phone’s built-in management interface.

Illegal stuff a hacker can do:
  •  Steal the phone history from the logs including any other details attached to the calls via XHR.
  •  Poison the address book with a persistent XSS - the name is encoded correctly but not the phone number.

Packet8 MobileTalk Goes Free

February 12, 2008

Packet8 has done a good thing today by allowing charter subscribers to their MobileTalk service free access. In other words, there are no longer fees associated with signing up to use this service which allows you to seamlessly connect your long distance calls over their VoIP network. You still pay per-minute charges depending on the country you call.

These rates are ridiculously low by the way. A call to Paris is 3 cents per minute.

Samsung MBP-100

February 12, 2008

If you were hoping for the day that you could fit a video projector in your pocket, perhaps that day is finally here. Of course this depends a bit on how big your pockets are. From this picture it seems that the new Samsung MBP-100 is about the size of the cell phone it can connect to.

I suppose the market for this device is people who occasionally need a projector but don't want to lug a full-sized one with them.

On the business communications side, the company has been having a good deal of trouble lately keeping its dealers happy. Numerous changes have cut into dealer margins and put some out of business according to my sources.

Tandberg Video works with Microsoft OCS

February 11, 2008

Microsoft unified communications gets video interoperability with Tandberg products.

Specifically, TANDBERG MXP endpoints can now register and authenticate directly with Office Communications Server 2007 allowing them to appear as contacts in an Office Communicator 2007 user's contact list. By clicking a name in their contact list, users of Office Communicator 2007 can now visually connect with any TANDBERG MXP device registered directly with Office Communications Server 2007.

In order to make this happen, your products need a software upgrade. Once upgraded, users can also take advantage of the single user identity inherent in Microsoft Office Communications Server.

Communications Being Purchased Incorrectly

February 11, 2008

In the world of communications a sad fact is that in the past few years, technology has evolved to the point where communications is being more integrated into business processes than ever.  Regardless of industry,  communications has evolved to the point where it makes companies productive and efficient while simultaneously lowering costs.

What makes this sad is that companies are still looking at communications purchases as plain vanilla telephone replacements. In other words, they say... My phone system is about to die, let me get a new one.

What they don't say is, I can boost my productivity by an order of magnitude...

Digium Guarantee Program

February 11, 2008

Mobile World Congress Key Terms

February 10, 2008

As you may know, Mobile World Congress kicks off this week and to get the ball rolling the event has put out some of the key terms you will be hearing more about this week. I have posted them here with their definitions in case you need to brush up on your acronyms.

Also be sure to check out the Mobile World Congress News Page to stay up to date on the show.


3G, or third-generation, is loosely defined as offering high data speeds, always-on data access and greater voice capacity, enabling operators to offer customers fast internet access, live, streaming video and other multimedia or "converged" applications over a wireless network. There are several 3G technology standards.

Alcatel-Lucent Cuts Dividend

February 8, 2008

Alcatel-Lucent just reported somewhat disappointing numbers for the quarter with a  few bright spots.

On the negative side, the company reported its largest ever quarterly loss since it was created in 2006. The loss was 2.58 billion euros ($3.74 billion) in the fourth quarter from 615 million euros a year earlier.

Alcatel-Lucent's market value has plunged 13.5 billion euros since Alcatel bought Lucent Technologies Inc.

On the bright side, sales were expected to be 4.87 biilion euros and came in at 5.23 billion.

The company predicts a full-year operating margin of between 2.5 percent and 5 percent, Chief Financial Officer Hubert de Pesquidoux said on a conference call.

Alcatel-Lucent forecast in June that it would have 1.7 billion euros in annual cost savings after three years, and savings of 600 million euros this year.

Open Source in South America

February 7, 2008

I was pretty blown away at just how much South American traffic there was at the recent ITEXPO a few weeks back. Much of this traffic was in the booths of companies who focus on the open source space. Digium and Fonality were just a few of the companies who saw this traffic in their booths.

I was reminded about how much open source interest there is in South America when I saw the news that Sangoma is partnering with Ft. Lauderdale based XmarteK to increase its distribution throughout Latin America.

Sangoma President and CEO David Mandelstam said Sangoma “will be supporting XmarteK with road shows in various Latin American countries where the objective will be to build a strong customer base that will help us to effectively serve the Latin American market.”

This just shows that open source is an attention-getter, regardless of language or culture.


See also:

Sangoma Interview
Sangoma: From Open Source to Unified Communications

Is AT&T a Runaway Winner?

February 6, 2008

Is AT&T going to win the IP services wars? I get the feeling they are really doing a fine job in this regard and will only do better over time. Jon Arnold agrees and in a  recent article he talks about how well AT&T is doing but also explains how in the new world of Internet Protocol communications, there will be mistakes and successes along the way.

He discusses, events that took place at ITEXPO and explores standalone versus bundled services while mentioning Verizon, Covad, XO, 8x8, Cbeyond and many others. There is good insight here and this article is worth a read.

Here is an excerpt:

Moving further along the spectrum, however, these two pieces begin to diverge, and the incumbent carrier must share the pie with competitors and over-the-top operators.

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