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Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Security 1st Edition

2.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1555583323
ISBN-10: 1555583326
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Voice Over Internet Protocol Security is both unique and timely. Ransome and Rittinghouse expertly describe the technical fundamentals, salient business drivers, and converged network infrastructure security risks and challenges IT and security professionals encounter when implementing enterprise-level VoIP systems." ― William M. Hancock, Ph.D., CISSP, CISM, CSO, Savvis Communications.

"This book should be required reading for anyone contemplating a VoIP implementation for three reasons: first, it deals with telecom technology and standards from Alexander Graham Bell onward. This puts VoIP in its proper context as an integral, evolved part of a global system that is potentially vulnerable. Second, it provides a detailed tutorial on all of the major aspects of VoIP implementation from a pragmatic point of view. Finally, it addresses the very real security issues that could put the global telephone system at risk if not dealt with professionally. I would heartily recommend your entire project team buy this book and read it carefully!"― John Milner, MIS Director, Cambridge University

Book Description

First book to focus exclusively on VoIP Security the fastest growing portion of telecom/CS Communications
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Digital Press; 1 edition (December 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555583326
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555583323
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,065,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
[note: I am the same reviewer IP_Geek, but Amazon only lets you review once, so this is follow up]

Despite what Dr. Michael G. Mathews may believe, I really wanted to use my real name, and I have never worked for Exodus (although they may have been a customer of one of the companies I worked for, unknown to me). I have worked at 4 networking vendor/manufacturer companies, of which 2 were data vendors (routers/switches) and 2 VoIP companies. I currently work at a vendor who makes VoIP security products, and thus I felt it a bit unfair/dangerous to my employer to critique any book in a public forum. (because you can google my name and find out where I work)

I still feel that way, so I will try to convince you I have no agenda as easily as I can as follows:

1) My argument was simply that you should VERY carefully read the table of contents, including the page numbers. Dr. Mathews is quite right that this type of book will appeal to some people, just that in my humble opinion I hope those people are not put in charge of securing VoIP, because this book doesn't do it. (see below why)

2) I did not slam the authors in person or capabilities - I slammed the book they wrote. This book was published fairly recently (6 months ago), and this book is written from a VoIP perspective of several years ago, in my opinion. It is missing tons, and contains lots of frankly irrelevant content to the subject. If the title of the book "VoIP Security" is not meant to actually mean this is a book about VoIP Security, then I guess I don't understand what book titles are for. The back cover even says "This book will teach you how to plan for and implement VoIP security solutions...". I am taking issue with that statement, not the authors personally.
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Format: Paperback
I decided to read 'VoIP Security' because I thought it would describe VoIP protocols and ways to secure them. The table of contents looked very strong and the preface seemed to meet my goals: "For one to truly understand Internet telephony, the reader must have a solid understanding of digital voice, telephony, networking, Internet protocols, and, most important of all, how all of these technologies are put together." Unfortunately, the book is confusing at times and is not an improvement over earlier VoIP security books. So-called 'reviewers' who write that this book 'goes heavily into explaining the low level mechanics of VoIP' reveal they don't read the books they purport to review.

Chapters 1, 2, and 3 discuss reasons to use VoIP, how voice is encoding into digital form, and telephony history. I found the wire pair discussions in ch 3 confusing; additional diagrams might have helped. Some text in the existing figures is so small as to be nearly illegible. Ch 4, on 'packet technologies,' is the worst in the book. Many of the 'functional activities by layer' in figure 4.1 are wrong (e.g., routing at layer 2). Page 89 says 'the IP identification number is mainly useful for identifying anomalous signatures.' While IP fragmentation is mentioned, that correct function of the IP ID seems played down.

The most frustrating part of ch 4 is the sudden discussion of the H.235 protocol, with absolutely no introduction to its purpose or what it is. This is especially unfortunate as the preceding 20 pages were wasted describing basic IP networking. H.235 is not explained until ch 8. Similarly, p. 102 and elsewhere compares SIP to H.323, without explaining H.323 or SIP! H.323 is tangentially covered in ch 8, and SIP makes an appearance in ch 5.
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Format: Paperback
This will end up being the worst tech book I have every read. The book starts off with lofty goals and ends up achieving none. None of the topics are presented properly. As pointed out in various reviews, chapter 4 is where the nightmare begins. That is not to say that the first three chapters are good, because there's really nothing worth reading in those first few pages.

The authors do NOT do justice to VoIP, to security, and to VoIP security.

Don't waste your money on this book.
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Format: Paperback
This book shows one of those rare times when reading the table of contents tells you a lot if you're careful. Unfortunately, I wasn't being careful when reading them. If you look, you'll notice that a book of only 330 real pages spends more than half of them just explaining how voip the technology works. That's probably a big red flag that they couldn't think of much security stuff to put in it.

There are other books for learning what voip is and how it works, and a security book should only be a dirty synopsis/refresher, not a replacement for what other books do far better.

Another red flag is that they only spend a few pages on IPSEC, TLS, SRTP, SMIME, etc. Like pages 95 - 107. So basically out of 300 pages, only about 3% is spent on what would normally be entire chapters in security books.

Then when they finally get to voip security on page 181, they spend about 50 pages on what most security experts would consider obvious and trivial attack risks. Then another 60 pages on best practices such as "Keep software updated". Wow.

Then they spend 30 pages (10% of the book) on wiretapping which might be interesting if they provided any real content (although wiretapping for CALEA is NOT VoIP security). Then they finish with 20 pages on the new voice providers (which has to do with VoIP security how??).

Overall a waste of my money. I wish I had carefully read the contents ahead of time. I hope you do.
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