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5G (and Telecom) vs. The Internet

26 Feb

5G sounds like the successor to 4G cellular telephony, and indeed that is the intent. While the progression from 2G to 3G, to 4G and now 5G seems simple, the story is more nuanced.

At CES last month I had a chance to learn more about 5G (not to be confused with the 5Ghz WiFi) as well as another standard, ATSC 3.0 which is supposed to be the next standard for broadcast TV.

The contrast between the approach taken with these standards and the way the Internet works offers a pragmatic framework for a deeper understanding of engineering, economics and more.

For those who are not technical, 5G sounds like the successor to 4G which is the current, 4th generation, cellular phone system. And indeed, that is the way it is marketed. Similarly, ATSC 3 is presented as the next stage of television.

One hint that something is wrong in 5G-land came when I was told that 5G was necessary for IoT. This is a strange claim considering how much we are already doing with connected (IoT or Internet of Things) devices.

I’m reminded of past efforts such as IMS (IP Multimedia Systems) from the early 2000’s which were deemed necessary in order to support multimedia on the Internet even though voice and video were working fine. Perhaps the IMS advocates had trouble believing multimedia was doing just fine because the Internet doesn’t provide the performance guarantees once deemed necessary for speech. Voice over IP (VoIP) works as a byproduct of the capacity created for the web. The innovators of VoIP took advantage of that opportunity rather than depending on guarantees from network engineers.

5G advocates claim that very fast response times (on the order of a few milliseconds) are necessary for autonomous vehicles. Yet the very term autonomous should hint that something is wrong with that notion. I was at the Ford booth, for example, looking at their effort and confirmed that the computing is all local. After all, an autonomous vehicle has to operate even when there is no high-performance connection or, any connection at all. If the car can function without connectivity, then 5G isn’t a requirement but rather an optional enhancement. That is something today’s Internet already does very well.

The problem is not with any particular technical detail but rather the conflict between the tradition of network providers trying to predetermine requirements and the idea of creating opportunity for what we can’t anticipate. This conflict isn’t obvious because there is a tendency to presuppose services like voice only work because they are built into the network. It is harder to accept the idea VoIP works well because it is not built into the network and thus not limited by the network operators. This is why we can casually do video over the Internet  —  something that was never economical over the traditional phone network. It is even more confusing because we can add these capabilities at no cost beyond the generic connectivity using software anyone can write without having to make deals with providers.

The idea that voice works because of, or despite the fact that the network operators are not helping, is counter-intuitive. It also creates a need to rethink business models that presume the legacy model simple chain of value creation.

At the very least we should learn from biology and design systems to have local “intelligence”. I put the word intelligence in quotes because this intelligence is not necessarily cognitive but more akin to structures that have co-evolved. Our eyes are a great example  —  they preprocess our visual information and send hints like line detection. They do not act like cameras sending raw video streams to a central processing system. Local processing is also necessary so systems can act locally. That’s just good engineering. So is the ability of the brain to work with the eye to resolve ambiguity as for when we take a second look at something that didn’t make sense at first glance.

The ATSC 3.0 session at ICCE (IEEE Consumer Electronics workshop held alongside CES) was also interesting because it was all premised on a presumed scarcity of capacity on the Internet. Given the successes of Netflix and YouTube, one has to wonder about this assumption. The go-to example is the live sports event watched by billions of people at the same time. Even if we ignore the fact that we already have live sports viewing on the Internet and believe there is a need for more capacity, there is already a simple solution in the way we increase over-the-air capacity using any means of distributing the content to local providers which then deliver the content to their subscribers. The same approach works for the Internet. Companies like Akamai and Netflix already do local redistribution. Note that such servers are not “inside the network” but use connectivity just like many other applications. This means that anyone can add such capabilities. We don’t need a special SDN (Software Defined Network) which presumes we need to reprogram the network for each application.

This attempt to build special purpose solutions shows a failure to understand the powerful ideas that have made the Internet what it is. Approaches such as this create conflicts between the various stakeholders defining functions in the network. The generic connectivity creates synergy as all the stakeholders share a common infrastructure because solutions are implemented outside of the network.

We’re accustomed to thinking of networking as a service and networks as physical things like railroads with well-defined tracks. The Internet is more like the road system that emerges from the way we use any path available. We aren’t even confined to roads, thanks to our ability to buy our own off-road vehicles. There is no physical network as such, but rather disparate transports for raw packets, which make no promises other than a best effort to transport packets.

That might seem to limit what we can do, but it turned out to be liberating. This is because we can innovate without being limited by a telecommunications provider’s imagination or its business model. It also allows multiple approaches to share the same facilities. As the capacity increases, it benefits all applications creating a powerful virtuous cycle.

It is also good science because it forces us to test limiting assumptions such as the need for reserved channels for voice. And good engineering and good business because we are forced to avoid unnecessary interdependence.

Another aspect of the Internet that is less often cited is the two-way nature which is crucial. This is the way language works by having conversations, so we don’t need perfection nor anticipate every question. We rely on shared knowledge that is not available only outside of the network.

It’s easy to understand why existing stakeholders want to continue to capture value inside their (expensive) networks. Those who believe in creating value inside networks would choose to continue to work towards that goal, while those who question such efforts would move on and find work elsewhere. It’s no surprise that existing companies would invest in their existing technologies such as LTE rather than creating more capacity for open WiFi.

The simple narrative of legacy telecommunications makes it simple for policymakers to go along with such initiatives. It’s easy to describe benefits including the smart cities which, like telecom, bake the functions into an infrastructure. What we need is a more software-defined smart city which provides a platform adding capabilities. The city government itself would do much of this, but it would also enable others to take advantage of the opportunities.

It is more difficult to argue for opportunity because the value isn’t evident beforehand. And even harder to explain that meeting today’s needs can actually work at cross-purposes with innovation. We see this with “buffer-bloat”. Storing data inside the network benefits traditional telecommunications applications that send information in one direction but make conversations difficult because the computers don’t get immediate feedback from the other end.

Planned smart cities are appealing, but we get immediate benefits and innovation by providing open data and open infrastructure. When you use your smartphone to define a route based on the dynamic train schedules and road conditions, you are using open interfaces rather than depending on central planning. There is a need for public infrastructure, but the goals are to support innovation rather than preempt it.

Implementing overly complex initiatives is costly. In the early 2000’s there was a conversion from analog to digital TV requiring replacing or, at least, adapting all of the televisions in the country! This is because the technology was baked into the hardware. We could’ve put that effort into extending the generic connectivity of the Internet and then used software to add new capabilities. It was a lost opportunity yet 5G, and ATSC 3.0 continue on that same sort of path rather than creating opportunity.

This is why it is important to understand why the Internet approach works so well and why it is agile, resilient and a source of innovation.

It is also important to understand that the Internet is about economics enabled by technology. A free-to-use infrastructure is a key resource. Free-to-use isn’t the same as free. Sidewalks are free-to-use and are expensive, but we understand the value and come together to pay for them so that the community as a whole can benefit rather than making a provider the gatekeeper.

The first step is to recognize that the Internet is about a powerful idea and is not just another network. The Internet is, in a sense, a functioning laboratory for understanding ideas that go well beyond the technology.



5 VoIP Features You Don’t Want to Live Without

16 Dec

Voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephony services don’t just stand to benefit your IT department and your company’s budget. Mercury Magazines reports that organizations typically net 20 to 30 percent cost savings when implementing VoIP. Despite initial investment costs in equipment, these savings are typically realized within 18 months.
While there will almost certainly be cost savings associated with the switch, your entire organization can stand to benefit from significant productivity gains. VoIP offers features that can facilitate better efficiency for all connected employees within the enterprise. Here are five lesser-known features of VoIP that can make your workers far more connected and better at what they do.
1. Data Integration
With VoIP, voice and data communications are transmitted over a single network. In a business climate where companies are increasingly opting to offer multiple channels for internal and external communications, this potential for integration can be massively helpful.
With VoIP, it’s easy to integrate your phone system with your employee’s email, allowing their inbox to act as a centralized repository for customer and coworker communications. Voicemail-to-text transcription services allow employees to easily catch up on missed calls from a single point. When your voice and text communications are integrated with your customer relationship management (CRM) tools, it can significantly improve your ability to provide accurate and high-quality customer service.
2. Automated Call Distribution
Call center management can be complex, particularly for organization that have what Nextiva refers to as a “wide spread of seniority” among customer service representatives. However, many VoIP providers offer several options for automated call distribution in a contact center setting, allowing their clients to pick the option that best fits their business requirements.
If your contact center or reception desk function prefers a “uniform” distribution to the longest idle user or for all phones to ring simultaneously, these options are easy to program into your VoIP management platform.
3. Interactive Voice Recognition
Interactive voice recognition (IVR) can eliminate your customer’s frustration with complex phone menu systems. Effective IVR features within a VoIP implementation can seamlessly integrate with your plan for automated call distribution, virtually eliminating the need for a human switchboard operator and significantly reducing inaccurately routed customer calls. No client wants to feel as if they’ve been fighting against a confusing phone menu or “passed around” needlessly by your customer service representatives. Effective voice recognition tools can improve your chances that calls go to the right person immediately.


4. Remote Management
Many VoIP solutions allow internal administrators to seamlessly manage VoIP through a single, Web-based portal. Depending on your internal talent and your agreement with your VoIP vendor, this can include scaling phone lines up or down, and performing other adjustments to your VoIP network. Since a Web portal can be accessed from anywhere in the world, this eliminates much of the need to have on-site talent with the ability to manage the phone system.
5. Call Diversion
For employees who may work remotely or need to remain accessible 24/7, VoIP’s ability to automate call diversion can eliminate the chances of missed customer communications. By forwarding calls directly to an employee’s mobile device or another selected number, your employees can communicate seamlessly with clients and coworkers, even if they’re working out of the office or traveling. Perhaps best of all, as IT Donut highlights, automated call diversion with VoIP is not noticeable to client callers.
Your business phone system should never inhibit productivity. If your employees are struggling to manage multiple communication channels without integration or keep up with several phone numbers, it’s likely time to make the switch to a centralized means of phone communication. With an effective VoIP implementation, both IT and other departments can become more efficient at communicating internally and externally, which can lead to important gains in customer satisfaction.


NFV vs. the Cloud

24 Nov
While many believe that NFV is a panacea for the business case of VoIP, I think we need to take a step back. Yes, NFV will undoubtedly deliver benefits and likely lower costs. Yes, NFV allows service providers to be more flexible and cloud-like. But what NFV doesn’t offer is business case transformation.

VoIP Billing System

1 Aug

With the advancement of technology in telecommunication and improvement in the services of multimedia sessions, voice traffic has increased in huge amount, which presents a challenging situation for the service providers to meet the expected demands of customers and to optimize the network available.

voip billing systemvoip billing

The growing names in the industry has come up with feasible solutions for the arising issue, one such name is AdoreInfotech, which provides VoIP solutions to maximize the resources available by the latest technologies. VoIP is abbreviation of Voice –Over-Internet-Protocol, which is a technologically advanced method to be used through internet for delivering voice communication and multimedia sessions.


Adoreinfotech has developed with the VoIP billing solutions that has been designed keeping in mind the demands and expectation in a telecom sector. VoIP Billing software can be implemented as a Customer Management system to collects, rates, taxes and bills voice and related services. We cater all issues related to VoIP; we have experts in our team to handle all the software related issues and gives the best of VoIP solutions. VoIP software is a need of all telecom industry whether large or small. VoIP is also available on many smartphones, personal computers and on internet enabled devices and helps calls and SMS with the availability of Wi-Fi or 3G connections.


The VoIP billing Software of Adoreinfotech has come with a competitive edge in the market and has been enhanced with the blend and integration of various functionality. With a keen focus on the development of VoIP and the related products, company has specialized with a business strategy in the development of related VoIP products as per the customized demand of the market to make modular VoIP billing software.

Adoreinfotech has set standards to deal in VoIP billing software with a strategy to deliver the best, our focus lies on the specifications of our customers, with this in mind , Adoreinfotech has devised special designed software with competitive rates for the users.


SIP Weirdo Cheatsheet

9 Jun
A list of SIP protocol properties, rules and exceptions.
  1. From and To header fields of a registration request contain the same value.
  2. All the registration requests send from one UA to one registrar would always have the same Call-ID.
  3. As pre 3261(and 3261 alone) Invite is the only request which can initiate a dialog.
  4. Otherwise refer and subscribe requests can also start a Dialog.
  5. A calling UAC might receive any number of 1xx responses.
  6. An invite may or may not carry SDP.
  7. In case of forking, the calling UAC might receive multiple 1XX and 2xx.
  8. ACK is the only request without a response but still a complete transaction.
  9. ACK is a mandatory request in the same direction in which Invite was propagated.
  10. ACK is mandatory for an Invite, and doesn’t become part of any other transaction other than invite.
  11. ACK for all non-successful responses are considered within the Invite transaction.
    For more discussion on ACK visit : My Previous post on ACK
  12. Cancel request can’t be challenged for authentication, as these requests can’t be re-submitted.
  13. ACK and Cancel must have the same RR header field if RR was present in the Invite request.
  14. The request filed in CSEQ for ACK and CANCEL is always invite (3261)
  15. The CSEQ number of ACK and CANCEL is always equal to the CSEQ number of the INVITE request which they are bound with.
  16. Apart from INVITE (3261) the only other request which can be cancelled is an INFO request.
  17. As per 3261′s definition of transaction, the transaction is considered complete when a request is responded by any final response, still intermediate proxies would keep the transaction alive for a time equal to default transaction timer (if not configured otherwise).
  18. There can be no session without a Dialog, but this property is not orthogonal.
  19. you can not cancel the Invite transaction if at-least one 1xx response is not received.
  20. You can not cancel any invite transaction for which there are responses received other than 1xx.
  21. In any case (other than re-writing the complete Invite request) the To  and the From header fields never change in the entire life-time of a dialog.
  22. “z9hG4bk” is a weird string called as magic cookie. Nothing magical about it other than the name. It is used to by proxies to identify if the request complies to 3261 or its older brother 2543.
  23. 3261 doesn’t restrict 100 Trying for any request, so it can be practically issued for any request. Although it makes very little sense.
  24. According to 3261 and 3261 alone, Register is the only request which can be sent out of dialog.
  25. Option request is sent to query the far end of it’s capabilities.

slight deviation, Barging into other RFCs

  1. If offer is sent and no answer received another offer can’t be generated.
  2. if offer received but answer not sent, then another offer can’t be sent.
  3. SDP can be carried by Invite, 200 OK, 183, ACK none other.
  4. SDP answer must have equal number of m-lines.
  5. offer can be rejected but not ignored.

Enough for now, will keep updating this list.

One Bonus.
If worried about SIP with NAT read the rport RFC. Just google.


if there is any way in which this article can be improved, please let me know.

Thanks for stopping by.


Turn your I Pad into a Smartphone with VoIP

9 Jun

Apple is all set to launch I Pad 3 with new set of features and facilities. However, it was the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) that eventually turned the I Pad into a phone for millions of owners around the world. Surely, I Pad VoIP has turned the niche tablet to an amazing Smartphone. Now, with your I Pad you too can stay connected with the world, make cheap calls and exchange multimedia with your family and friends irrespective of where they are. And of course, turning your I Pad to Smartphone using VoIP is no rocket science. It’s really very easy.

What is needed?

For a great calling experience with I Pad using VoIP, you would require a superior quality voice input and output device. Though I Pad does come with an integrated microphone and speakers, it would be inconvenient to hold it too close to yourself to communicate. Thus, it is best advised to use an external output and input device, say a 3.5 mm stereo plus microphone headset. If you can afford a Bluetooth headset, the merrier it would be. Try not to compromise with the quality of the headsets as they would play a critical role in the quality of calls made using I Pad VoIP.

Fast Internet Connection

For making free calls, you would need a good internet connection with adequate bandwidth. Slower and low bandwidth connection would directly hamper the quality of the calls and sometimes you might find it difficult to establish a call at all. Though GSM, WI-Fi and 2G internet connections are quite popular among the masses, , it is best advised to use 3G connectivity to make use of I Pad VoIP anywhere under the sky. Choose of a good 3G service provider and go for an unlimited 3G data plan as voice calls consume loads of data.


VoIP Apps

To make it easier, many VoIP service providers have launched specific applications in the market to allow internet enabled device owners make free calls. Apple’s I Store has many VoIP applications that one can download and install post registration with the service provider. Most of these applications are free and compatible with all internet enabled devices. For I Pad choose those applications that have excellent reputation for I Pad and Apple’s iOS.


With telecom industry changing every day and with newer inventions popping up in the market now and then, the end-consumer will have plethora of options in near future. As of today, VoIP technology rules the market for being cheapest and compatible on wide range of devices. So go for VoIP. Go for smarter and cheaper calls.


How to make free VoIP calls on Android — without Google

19 May

Free VoIP Calls AndroidDid you feel it? Something scary happened this week.

Google pulled the plug on public access to its XMPP network. Holy tech jargon, Batman! That sounds like a bunch of nonsense, I know.

Allow me to explain: Up until yesterday, Google allowed third-party apps and services to tap into that aforementioned network — the mythical XMPP — which in turned allowed them to provide you with free Internet-based phone service. Those of us who used an inexpensive little box called the OBi to get free home phone service have already dealt with (and moved on from) the change.

But the switch-off also affected apps that offered free VoIP calling from mobile devices — including the popular Groove IP app for Android. And since Google has bafflingly still not opened up free voice calling via Hangouts for Android (cough, cough, WHAT THE HELL GOOGLE, sneeze), that leaves us without an easy and free way to make calls that don’t eat up mobile minutes.

Well, fear not, my friends: There is an answer. And it comes from the same app that used to give us that free VoIP calling via Google.

Oh, yes: It’s trusty ol’ Groove IP. The company has pushed out a new update that lets you link its app up with a free calling service called When you open the app after the update, it’ll prompt you to sign up for an account and pick a new phone number (an option that’s apparently exclusive to Groove IP users). The whole process takes about 20 seconds and involves no personal details beyond your name and email address.

Then, shazam: You’re back in business, sitting at a dialer and ready to make or receive calls over the ‘Net. No charges, no hidden fees.

Free VoIP Calls Android - Groove IP

Now, there is one noteworthy downside to this setup: By default, you’re stuck using a newly assigned phone number — not your own familiar digits. That means any calls you make via the service will come from that new number, and anyone who wants to call you on the VoIP service (as opposed to your regular mobile service) will need to dial your new number, too. Not quite as convenient as the old all-in-one Google Voice forwarding solution.

You can port your Google Voice number over to if you want, though I’m not sure I’d recommend that for most people. The best way to look at this, I think, is as an emergency backup solution for when you’re low on mobile minutes and don’t want to rack up extra charges (especially if you use a low-cost and low-minute prepaid plan like I do). You’ll just have to accept the fact that any calls you make will come from an unusual number, which isn’t ideal but is certainly better than nothing.

And with any luck, it’ll be a short-term solution — just until Google comes around and delivers voice calling via Hangouts for us lowly Android rabble (sneeze, snort, snore).

The free calling is available through both the free-and-ad-supported Groove IP app and the$5 pro version of the program. Both versions of the app integrate nicely with the native Android dialer and allow you to set up rules for when VoIP-based calling will kick in.

Happy dialing, my fellow freebie-lovers!


What is VoIP?

15 May

You’re at an internet café and get an important business call–on your laptop. You’re on the road and receive an urgent voice mail–in your e-mail inbox. Welcome to the world of voice over internet protocol (VoIP).

What is VoIP?

VoIP abbreviation of Voice over Internet Protocol or commonly called digital phone is one part of the transmission technology for transmitting voice communication via the internet, such as IP or packet-switched networks. By using VoIP, we can perform telephone calls via an internet connection, is no longer using conventional telephone lines that did the transmission was analog. Some VoIP services can only be used to make calls to other people using the same service. But there’s also a VoIP service can make calls to anyone via phone number, local, long-distance, mobile phone number-even internationally.

To know more clearly what is VoIP? you can learn the advance mechanism of VoIP and the principle it works on its own. VoIP essentially functioned in a way convert or alter your voice which is the analog signal into a digital signal that is transmitted over the internet. Unlike conventional phone that transmits your voice either electrical signals via cable. VoIP can be used directly through a special VoIP phone, computer or conventional phone that is connected using a special tool called a VoIP adapter.

what is voip phone What is VoIP?

VoIP services generally can be divided into four, namely:

  1. Computer To Computer

This service is a voice service call using the computer as a communication device. By using the specific service on the internet we can use our computer has been connected to the internet to make calls to other computers that use the same service. You can find many VoIP providers on the internet; one of the services that supports voice calls over the internet is Yahoo Messenger. By using Yahoo messenger we can do a voice call with fellow users. You can choose an alternative service that supports voice calls over the internet such as MSN messenger or Skype. Computer-to-computer VoIP service can be done for free, you just simply provide an internet connection on your computer.

  • Computer To Phone

This service were which allows us make any of a computer to phone, be it fixed telephone (PSTN) or (mobile phone cellular phone). This service also requires service providers on the internet. One service provider this is Skype. This service also not free like the service computer to computer VoIP, service needs this cost to be purchased beforehand the prepaid). Manner of using this service is not so hard. First, we must have account in service provider related usually make account not in pick up charges. Then we bought a credit or it could be also called pulse, which later will be used to make calls to phones. Calls made to phone numbers not only local, but calls can be made to dial internationally around the world. And also, we can make calls to landlines or mobile phones. The rates used in reference to the service provider.

what is voip and how does it work What is VoIP?

  • Phone To Computer

VoIP service call is a service which allows you to make calls from your phone to your computer. Yet another service provider that supports this service one is Skype. When we have a Skype account, we can also have what is called Online Number. Online number that later can be in contact from any telephone.

  • Phone To Phone

The service is performed using a special phone or conventional phone that connects with the VoIP adapter. To use this service, we must use the service provider’s phone to phone VoIP. One of these service providers is the Phone Power. With this service we can make calls anywhere around the world using tools that support.

How do you already understand what is VoIP right? Now it’s time to try it yourself with colleagues. Good try your VoIP!

what is voip used for What is VoIP?

Article Source: –

Easy Solution to AT&T gets Problem

8 May

So I was reading The Switch this morning, and I saw a post from yesterday by Brian Fung about AT&T not being able to prioritize GETS traffic for emergency responders and the government in national security crises, and I thought I would give them a free solution to this problem.  For the full article, here is a link.

For a brief overview, with the current copper lines the phone companies are able to prioritize calls after a cop/firefighter/FBI agent/President of the United States enter a special code in times of great emergency when the phone lines are tied up by people checking on loved ones, or calling 911 to report an obvious emergency.  Think the attack on the twin towers, or hurricane katrina (examples in the article).   Now that AT&T is proposing expanding their VOIP-over-Fibre phone service UVerse to the rest of the US, they are claiming that the nature of the internet means that they cannot prioritize specific VOIP traffic in the case of an emergency.  There could only be 4 possible reasons for this response:

1) Everyone working at AT&T is a moron. Not out of the question

2) They are lying to the US Government in order to shave a few points of margin off their service at the expense of lives. Most likely.

3) They are in fact doing so, but in secret and only for national emergency issues, leaving out first responders. Sneaky.

4) This is 1978 during the DARPA period of the internet. Its not.

Here is a simple solution that I crafted in the shower for a problem many organizations deal with for VOIP and other IP traffic every day. Took 15 minutes and a bit of drawing.  Its high level, but based on the principles of Source/Destination IP Prioritization

 ATT Solution Simple

Basically what this says is that a Priority Phone call user (Firefighter lets say) during an emergency can dial a special pin, which opens up a call to a special VOIP server or or is prioritized on the VOIP system in question. That number is a forwarding number similar to the 1-800 long distance forwarders we all know and loathe. When they get that dial tone, they type in their number and it makes their call to their destination, which can be a special line or a regular line. All prioritized IP traffic based on source and destination. Very easy to do.  Here are some links using Cisco gear as a baseline.

This link describes ‘Policy based routing‘ on Cisco IOS devices (routers) that would need to be programmed to prioritize traffic coming to and from the Priority VOIP server.

This link is a little less technical and gives an overview of traffic shaping.

Because UVerse is an IP based routing platfrom it follows the same rules about traffic shaping as other WAN networks. AT&T’s argument is that because all VOIP traffic looks the same to their routers, they cannot differentiate emergency traffic from regular traffic so cannot use traffic shaping to relieve congestion. I have proved in less than an hour with a very crude drawing and a couple of links that it is simply a desire to save money on an emergency destination (which can be a ‘Virtual IP‘ that simply prioritizes routes, or the priorities can be dynamically created as this paper proves).

Basically AT&T does not want to create a separate server to handle emergency traffic, so is unwilling to utilize this solution (or come up with a better one) in order to save on some equipment costs and the man hours required to update their routers with the prioritized routes.

If you think this wouldn’t work, or have an even better solution, tell me in the comments!


Here’s how the NSA can collect data from millions of PCs

13 Mar

NSA VPN exploit diagram

We know that the NSA has been ramping up its efforts to collect data from computers, but it’s now clear that the intelligence agency has the tools to compromise those computers on a grand scale. Information leaked by Edward Snowden to The Intercept has revealed that the NSA has spent recent years automating the way it plants surveillance software. The key is Turbine, a system launched in 2010 that automatically sets up implants and simplifies fetching data; agents only have to know what information they want, rather than file locations or other app-specific details. A grid of sensors, nicknamed Turmoil, automatically spots extracted info and relays it to NSA staff. The combined platform lets the organization scrape content from “potentially millions” of PCs, instead of focusing only on the highest-priority targets.

The spies also have a wide range of weapons at their disposal. They can grab data from flash drives and webcams, remote control PCs and intercept the content from both internet calls as well as virtual private networks. The NSA doesn’t always go directly after a target, either. It frequently compromises IT administrators to reach people on the networks they run, and it will both spoof websites and alter traffic to trick targets into installing code. Snowden’s latest leak isn’t all that surprising given that we’ve seen governments use similar espionage methods in the past, but it suggests that the NSA can easily watch a large number of computer users without sweating the exact techniques that it uses.


Source: The Intercept


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