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Modem assessment, was: Re: Pentester convicted..
From: Karyn Pichnarczyk <karyn () sandstorm net>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2006 15:20:08 -0400

Each company will have to calculate what their own risk factors
are when a modem security assessment is made, however here are
some risks/damages associated with telephone audits:

1. Poorly designed wardialers might leave lots of voice mails,
which affects each person in the company with a telephone and
often elicits many complaints to the department doing the scan.

2. Poorly designed wardialers might also either leave voicemail
or give the classic "modem screech" sound to someone answering
the phone, which is not normally well-received.

3. Can potentially dial emergency access numbers.  This is
specifically troublesome if some people in key positions forward
their phones to the emergency line if they are away from their

4. If, as part of the modem assessment segment of the telephone
scan, a modem is found, IDS's might be alarmed by the "unexpected

5. It is illegal in many places/states/countries to wardial
numbers which you do not control.

6. Other damages that might appear as a result of poorly designed
PBX's, modem pools, etc. failing due to the modem scan call
volume at unexpected hours.

Our company sells a wardialer (PhoneSweep) and we recommend that
before a scan is begun that there is some sort of official buy-in
with upper management so that if there is any accidental fallout
as a result of the scan you are covered. Having a company
approved Modem Security Policy also helps. We recommend that
a few short scans be done prior to the actual scan, so that any
abnormalities in PBX's, VM systems, etc are dealt with prior to
the company-wide scan commencing.

Karyn Pichnarczyk

Mark Teicher wrote:

Here is question, what is the risk factor or actual damage meter read when a security pen-tester conducts a modem security assessment ??

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