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Friday, January 26, 2007
NEC Technology Prevents IP Phone SPAM

NEC announced the development of new technology for the prevention of SPam over Internet Telephony ("SPIT"), VoIP SEAL.

The new technology, which defends against the threat of rapidly increasing spam IP phone calls, is expected to contribute significantly to the realization of safe voice over internet protocol ("VoIP") phone networks in the future. VoIP SEAL(TM) will be exhibited at NEC?s booth at the 3GSM World Congress 2007, taking place in Barcelona, Spain from February 12 -15 (hall 8, booth 8A125).

The main features of VoIP SEAL(TM) are as follows:

(1) Calls arising from spam-generating-software and calls from real individuals are separated by a Turing test. Turing test is a famous method in the information science field for testing whether the caller is a human or a machine by testing a machine?s capability to perform human-like conversation. Before connecting the call, VoIP SEA(TM) detects and blocks the unauthorized access based on the communication pattern observed during a call. This enables the detection and blocking of SPIT and prevents the user?s phone from ringing unnecessarily.

(2) By adopting a module structure, VoIP SEAL(TM) enables rapid response to new kinds of SPIT attacks, without adjusting the system, by adding and updating modules to respond to new and different kinds of SPIT.

(3) The adoption of a module structure also realizes response to a broad range of applications by enabling flexible and easy customization of systems to meet the needs of a variety of hardware, such as SIP servers, SBC, home network equipment and terminal equipment.

NEC carried out a SPIT attack simulation project employing VoIP SEAL(TM) to verify the technology?s ability to protect against SPIT. This project showed that 99% of SPIT was detected and blocked, preventing users from receiving unwanted and bothersome calls.

In recent years, the spread of low-cost IP phones has advanced significantly in comparison to fixed-line phones as a new method of communication in the next-generation network ("NGN") environment. However, although IP phones offer cost advantages, they also act as an easy platform for generating spam calls. The cost of generating a spam call over the internet is cheaper than in a traditional network by a factor of 1000. As a result, the existing infrastructure for producing spam e-mails (so called "botnets") can easily be modified to also produce spam telephone calls. Today, the number of spam emails is higher than the number of regular emails produced jointly by all of the users in the internet. If unsolicited marketing and spam calls become as frequent as spam email, constantly-ringing VoIP phones may hinder the spread of their use.

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