Securing media streams in an Asterisk-based environment and evaluating the resulting performance cost

by Clayton, B.

Abstract (Summary)
When adding Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability (CIA) to a multi-user VoIP (Voice over IP) system, performance and quality are at risk. The aim of this study is twofold. Firstly, it describes current methods suitable to secure voice streams within a VoIP system and make them available in an Asterisk-based VoIP environment. (Asterisk is a well established, open-source, TDM/VoIP PBX.) Secondly, this study evaluates the performance cost incurred after implementing each security method within the Asterisk-based system, using a special testbed suite, named DRAPA, which was developed expressly for this study.

The three security methods implemented and studied were IPSec (Internet Protocol Security), SRTP (Secure Real-time Transport Protocol), and SIAX2 (Secure Inter-Asterisk eXchange 2 protocol). From the experiments, it was found that bandwidth and CPU usage were significantly affected by the addition of CIA. In ranking the three security methods in terms of these two resources, it was found that SRTP incurs the least bandwidth overhead, followed by SIAX2 and then IPSec. Where CPU utilisation is concerned, it was found that SIAX2 incurs the least overhead, followed by IPSec, and then SRTP.

Bibliographical Information:


School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:computer science


Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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