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Spammers on Amazon EC2 starting to hammer Asterisk (VoIP) servers

By Ken Simpson | 1 minute read

Random non-email-spam-related aside: There have been widespread reports from the Asterisk open-source PBX community that spammers are attempting to gain access to Asterisk PBX through brute-force attacks originating from hosts within the Amazon EC2 cloud computing environment. The Asterisk-users mailing list has an active discussion on the topic.

Some thoughts from the email spam perspective:

  • The VoIP community seems to be responding (and quickly) with blocking tools as a first line of defense against these attacks. How long will it be before spammers get the message and lower their per-IP volume to evade detection as they have done with email spam?
  • When will we see RBLs emerging to assist with this problem?
  • Amazon seems to be handling the abuse reports poorly – at least that’s the perception of the Asterisk users. When will the community get together to establish a VoIP abuse reporting framework similar to ARF?
  • Is this problem affecting only the open source PBX crowd? Many of the Asterisk users seem to be running Asterisk on DSL connections etc.. It’s unlikely that vendors will help them.

That’s all for now – comments welcome!

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