Nuisance calls to video conferencing units

Ticket Details

Ticket ID 518163
Subject Nuisance calls to video conferencing units
Status open
Date Start Tue Apr 28 13:56:39 2015
Date End Wed Jun 10 08:30:00 2015
Scheduled NO

Problem Description

Since the start of the year the frequency of nuisance calls to video conferencing units has increased dramatically. This is a worldwide problem, not limited to HEAnet member institutions. We believe the reason for these calls is the attempt to find PABXs or IP to ISDN gateways that could be used to route phone calls. While these calls are annoying we do not believe they are dangerous.

Problem Effects

Nuisance calls to video conferencing units

Last Update Message

Wed Jun 10 11:06:56 2015

The switch to routed mode on the National Gatekeeper was successfully completed this morning. We have not seen any problem with the video conferencing services since the switch, we are continuing to monitor.
Regards,
Justin

Affected Clients

n/a

Affected Services

Video Conferencing

Transaction History

Date Created Message
Tue Apr 28 16:08:03 2015 We have investigated two possible solutions to the problem. The first, to block the source IP addresses at the network core level. This has been found to be impractical due to network design and the randomness sources of the calls. The second, switching the national gatekeeper into routed mode. Currently the gatekeeper acts like a DNS server, only providing a lookup service. In routed mode the gatekeeper would route the signalling of all call to and from registered video conferencing units. Only signalling would transit the gatekeeper, not media (i.e. video and audio streams). By routing the calls via the gatekeeper we can add flexible rules to block the nuisance calls. However, in our testing we found that while direct IP dialling is possible outbound, registered video conferencing units cannot be called by IP other units. Calls using GDS works without issue. We will continue to investigate the routed gatekeeper solution and update this ticket as progress is made. Regards, Justin
Tue Jun 09 13:51:50 2015 As a way of mitigating the ongoing problem of nuisance calls, HEAnet will be switch the National GDS Gatekeeper into routed mode. This should not affect your video conferencing experience or require any changes in how you use video conferencing. There is one exception, if you have restrictive firewall rules that may block communication with our gatekeeper (193.1.31.194), you will need to allow access from your video conferencing units to the gatekeeper. If you are registered with our gatekeeper you will not need to make any changes. If you do not currently register with the National Gatekeeper, you can continue, however you will not benefit from our blocking of nuisance calls. If you register with the Gatekeeper you can continue to dial using IP address, we do not require you to use GDS. We intend implement this change during our maintenance window on Wednesday the 10th of June between 8:30 and 9:00 am. If you have any questions or experience any issue related to this change please contact the HEAnet Multimedia Team at multimedia@heanet.ie Regards, Justin
Wed Jun 10 11:06:55 2015 The switch to routed mode on the National Gatekeeper was successfully completed this morning. We have not seen any problem with the video conferencing services since the switch, we are continuing to monitor. Regards, Justin