[PAST EVENT] Seyed Amir Iranmanesh, Computer Science - Ph.D. Dissertation Defense
Voice delivery over IP networks including VoIP (Voice over IP) and VoLTE (Voice
over LTE) are emerging as the alternatives to the conventional public telephony
networks. With the growing number of subscribers and the global integration of
4/5G by operations, VoIP/VoLTE as the only option for voice delivery becomes an
attractive target to be abused and exploited by malicious attackers.
This dissertation aims to address some of the security challenges in VoIP/VoLTE.
When we examine the past events to identify trends and changes in attacking strategies, we
find that spam calls, caller-ID spoofing, and DoS attacks are the most
imminent threats to VoIP deployments. Compared to email spam, voice spam will
be much more obnoxious and time consuming nuisance for human subscribers to
filter out. Since the threat of voice spam could become as serious as email spam,
we first focus on spam detection and propose a content-based approach to protect
telephone subscribers' voice mailboxes from voice spam.
Caller-ID has long been used to enable the callee parties know who is calling,
verify his identity for authentication and his physical location for emergency services. VoIP and other packet switched networks such as all-IP Long Term Evolution (LTE) network provide flexibility that helps subscribers to use arbitrary caller-ID. Moreover, interconnecting between IP telephony and other Circuit-Switched (CS) legacy telephone networks has also weakened the security of caller-ID systems. We
observe that the determination of true identity of a calling device helps us in preventing many VoIP attacks, such as caller-ID spoofing, spamming and call flooding attacks. This motivates us to take a very different approach to the VoIP problems and attempt to answer a fundamental question: is it possible to know the type of a device a subscriber uses to originate a call? By exploiting the impreciseness of the codec sampling rate in the caller's RTP streams, we propose a fuzzy rule-based system to remotely identify calling devices.
Finally, we propose a caller-ID based public key infrastructure for VoIP and VoLTE that provides signature generation at the calling party side as well as signature verification at the callee party side. The proposed signature can be used as caller-ID trust to prevent caller-ID spoo
ng and unsolicited calls. Our approach is based on the identity-based cryptography, and it also leverages the Domain Name System (DNS) and proxy servers in the VoIP architecture, as well as the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture. Using OPNET, we then develop a comprehensive simulation test-bed for the evaluation. Our simulation results show that the average call setup delays induced by our infrastructure are hardly noticeable by telephony subscribers and the extra signaling overhead is negligible. Therefore, our proposed infrastructure can be adopted to widely verify caller-ID in telephony networks.
Seyed Amir Iranmanesh is a Ph.D. candidate of Computer Science at William & Mary. His research interests lie in networking and security, especially security issues in VoIP. He received his M.S. degree in Computer Engineering from Isfahan University of Technology and B.S. degree in Computer Engineering from Shahed University.