You surely have a lock on your front door. Do you have such a lock on your network? Though you may think so, but it may well be wholly unlocked. Or at least, you may not be able to know for certain that it’s locked. If you use a commercial Wi-Fi router from your ISP, or one of the big names like Linksys, Belkin, DLink et al, your network may not be as secure as you think.
At the outset let me state that, as someone who reads hereabouts, you’re no dummy. You’ve taken steps to ensure that the router doesn’t still have the default admin password. You’re using modern encryption on your Wi-Fi. You’re being responsible, but there are things beyond your grasp.
The simple fact is that the firmware the runs most retail, commercial routers is closed source. As such, you have no ready way to verify it’s behavior. Yet, the manufacturer, by virtue of necessity, uses various common software modules to create their firmware. They may even use some open source modules, but end up with an closed source binary in the end.
The upshot of this reality is that you have a very small team of developers responsible for maintaining the code. That means updates come along slowly, if at all for older devices. By extension, serious security issues get addressed slowly, if they ever get addressed at all.
In 2013 Dr. Schulzrinne was inducted into the Internet Hall Of Fame. The following clip is his acceptance speech from that ceremony. I offer it in the hope that it will help inspire some good questions.
The technical part of this weeks exercise will involve the use of Jitsi Video Bridge (http://jitsi.org) to host the call instead of our usual G+ Hangout. Thus we’ll be taking a pure, open source, WebRTC approach to things. Given a limited number of seats on the Jitsi video bridge they are by invitation only.
To allow more people to watch the call the Jitsi Video Bridge feed will be live streamed to our YouTube channel*. http://youtu.be/-pfXBE2POxo
Jitsi Video Bridge has a newly implemented ability to dial out to a SIP URI. This is how we’ll be interconnecting with ZipDX. Since both JVB and ZipDX support the Opus codec that will be a good quality connection.
Interactive, if audio-only, participation in the call will be possible by connecting to ZipDX via SIP URI (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Earlier this week I saw a press release detailing a new model of Gigaset cordless DECT phone. This new model, known as the Gigaset C620A, isn’t even SIP capable so normally I wouldn’t give it the time of day. However, the release placed unusual emphasis on one particular feature…a blacklist function intended to reduce the impact of nuisance calls.
Nuisance calls have been on my mind lately, not so much because we get them…because we generally don’t suffer such a problem. They’ve been on my mind because ZipDX’s David Frankel has been railing against the outcome of the FTC/FCC sponsored Robocall Challenge intended to crowd source a solution to the problem of such calls.
David entered that contest but was not one of the winners. He made some inquires about the judging criteria and scores, but met with resistance. In fact, David’s experience following up on the scoring was pretty bad. So much so that he’s been pursuing the FTC and FCC for more details. His efforts in this pursuit made it into The Wall Street Journal on June 25th.
While the contest was over some time ago, there was a Senate hearing on the subject just last week.
The author quite rightly points out that Google Voice and Vonage will not place calls to the rural rate centers with the exorbitantly high termination costs that make the free conference service possible.
We find no fault with OnSIP and their policy in this regard. In fact, we decided that we saw value in adding an optional private conference bridge to our OnSIP account, even though it costs us $20/month.
Doug Mohney’s HD Voice News has a good overview of David’s petition. David’s idea was that the merger hearings present an opportunity to point out how the ILECs have utterly failed to advance the issue of call quality. What Doug doesn’t mention is the mechanism of David’s presentation on May 27th.