How to Break Asterisk

Just to show that VoIP security is not all about SIP, researchers Himanshu Dwivedi and Zane Lackey from iSEC Partners have produced some interesting material on vulnerabilities in IAX, which they just presented at the recent Black Hat conference. IAX (pronounced eeks) as you may know, is a proprietary protocol often used to connect together Asterisk servers for the purposes of call routing. Implementors say that it is simpler than SIP, and also tunnels through firewalls better than SIP, thanks to a ‘VPN like’ approach that tunnels signalling and media together down the same pipe.

iSEC came up with a number of novel attacks including exploiting authentication problems with the use of MD5 hashes; man-in-the-middle and DoS. They have a very nice paper here that describes their attacks in detail, and they have also made available some code (in Python) that you can use for your own experimentation.

Not stopping at IAX, they also had a go at the granddaddy of VoIP protocols, H.323, and have published a couple of attack tools there too. It’s enough to keep you busy all Summer long.

More: Black Hat USA 2007 abstracts

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  1. Pingback: Signal to Noise » How to rootcrack an Asterisk box

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