Voice over the Internet? A hacker’s paradise

While VOIP is very nice for businesses, it’s also very nice for hackers.

The NY Times writes ost new technology comes with risks, no matter how great the advantages. Computers, for instance, can store huge amounts of information, but they can also freeze, crash and melt down.
The challenge is no different with Internet phones, which more and more consumers and businesses are using. The phones break voice conversations into data packets and route them over the Internet, a cheap and more flexible alternative to traditional phone calls that travel over copper wires.
But Internet phones and the routers and servers that steer and store the digitized calls are susceptible to the bugs, viruses and worms that have plagued computer data systems for years. Already, a few malicious attacks have shut down corporate Internet phone networks, disrupting business at a cost of millions of dollars. With Internet phones, hackers or disgruntled employees with access to a company’s phone server can eavesdrop on conversations by surreptitiously installing software that can track voice packets.