Feds seek advice on VoIP security

The federal government recognises the potential benefits of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology but is investigating the risks involved for national security purposes.In a request for tender briefing document, the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) said it hopes to hire a consultant to identify the threats associated with the adoption of VoIP.

The federal government recognises the potential benefits of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology but is investigating the risks involved for national security purposes.

In a request for tender briefing document, the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) said it hopes to hire a consultant to identify the threats associated with the adoption of VoIP.

The department is acting on behalf of the Trusted Information Sharing Network's (TISN) IT Security Advisory Group. TISN is a program designed to strengthen national security through projects like the Computer Network Vulnerability program launched last year.

"New technologies often introduce new vulnerabilities into business systems as individuals and groups with malicious intent seek ways to subvert or compromise the technology," DCITA said.

To gain an industry perspective on the issue, the consultant should have discussions with at least six key stakeholders from the IT and communications industries before formulating a conclusion.

The security aspects of VoIP has been a hotbed of discussion within the telecommunications and IT industry. In response, Voice over IP Security Alliance (VOIPSA) was formed in February aimed at defining security requirements and best practices for VoIP deployments.

The alliance comprises 50 members from the commercial and academic worlds. Some notable names include Nortel, SBC, Siemens, Verizon, Avaya, VeriSign, Samsung Telecommunications America, Alcatel, Accenture, the SANS Institute, Sprint, AT&T, MCI, 3Com, Bell Canada, Time Warner, Symantec and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

The closing date for tenders to be submitted is April 21. The successful consultant's findings will not be made public.