Telcos

Privacy in VoIP Networks: Flow Analysis Attacks and Defense

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Executive Summary

Peer-to-Peer VoIP (voice over IP) networks, exemplified by Skype, are becoming increasingly popular due to their significant cost advantage and richer call forwarding features than traditional public switched telephone networks. One of the most important features of a VoIP network is privacy (for VoIP clients). Unfortunately, most peer-to-peer VoIP networks neither provide personalization nor guarantee a quantifiable privacy level. This paper proposes novel flow analysis attacks that demonstrate the vulnerabilities of peer-to-peer VoIP networks to privacy attacks. The paper then addresses two important challenges in designing privacy-aware VoIP networks: Can one provide personalized privacy guarantees for VoIP clients that allow them to select privacy requirements on a per-call basis? How to design VoIP protocols to support customizable privacy guarantee?

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