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Asterisk Security Advisory

Digium, the makers of Asterisk, announced today a new release of the Asterisk Telephony Software. The updated software contains a security release affecting all previously released versions of the software. It is recommended that you make sure you have upgraded to the most current version of this software; available for free from Digium.

The announcement issued follows:

The Asterisk.org development team has announced the release of Asterisk 1.2.31.1, 1.4.22.2, 1.4.23.1, and 1.6.0.5. These releases are available for immediate download from http://downloads.digium.com/.

This update for Asterisk includes a security fix for chan_iax2. Please see the associated security adivisory for more details:

http://downloads.digium.com/pub/security/AST-2009-001.html

These updates are a fix to a previous security release (released as versions 1.2.31, 1.4.22.1, and 1.6.0.3).

The new versions are being released after additional testing revealed some issues with the way that scanning for users was blocked. Those issues have been corrected in this release.

This security issue affects the 1.2, 1.4, and 1.6 series of Asterisk.

Also note, that Asterisk 1.6.0.4-rc1 was released yesterday prior to the security update. That release has been removed as there will be no 1.6.0.4 release, but rather will be reincarnated as 1.6.0.6-rc1. The reason for the dead release is to avoid 5 digit release numbers.

ChangeLogs for the various releases are available at:

http://downloads.digium.com/pub/asterisk/ChangeLog-1.2.31.1
http://downloads.digium.com/pub/asterisk/ChangeLog-1.4.22.2
http://downloads.digium.com/pub/asterisk/ChangeLog-1.4.23.1
http://downloads.digium.com/pub/asterisk/ChangeLog-1.6.0.5

Thank you for your continued support of Asterisk!

If you would like assistance with upgrading your software, or simply would like us to verify which version you are using, please contact Team Forrest today. We will be glad to assist you.

Parking Availability, Team Forrest, and Asterisk

Ann Arbor Parking

Recently, Fred Posner of Team Forrest, assisted Edward Vielmetti with a simple idea — help make information accessible. In this case, the information was the availability of Parking Spots in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority (A2DDA) publishes data regarding parking spot availability on the web, however, when you’re driving to the garage navigating to a web site is the least of your worries. So, an idea was born to make parking information readily accessible — and with that, Team Forrest’s Fred Posner built a quick prototype to demonstrate how Asterisk (by Digium) can help rethink how data can be accessed.

In the prototype, a caller can select which garage to query. The system will then speak to the caller the remaining number of spaces and offer 3 options — select another garage, exit (and hear the local weather), or choose to be notified if there are fewer than 10 spaces remaining. If the caller selects the notification option, the system will automatically check once a minute (for 30 minutes) and initiate a call out to the user. The call will remind the user which garage they selected and inform them of the current number of available spaces.

The prototype for this project can be accessed from the Team Forrest main line, at +1 (212) 937-7844. Then, choose 6 for check local Ann Arbor Parking availability.

About Team Forrest

Team Forrest offers complete Internet Consulting services, specializing in VoIP and Asterisk solutions. Team Forrest has one simple goal: Help the client. Whether you need emergency assistance or if you are planning a deployment, Team Forrest is here to help. With over 15 years experience, our team can quickly assess your needs and help deploy the most appropriate solution.

About Asterisk

Asterisk (by Digium) is the world’s leading open source telephony engine and tool kit. Asterisk empowers communication with it’s flexibility. Asterisk is released as open source under the GNU General Public License (GPL), and it is available for download free of charge. Asterisk is the most popular open source software available, with the Asterisk Community being the top influencer in VoIP.

Related Information:

Using AGI to get Caller ID Name CNAM

Everyone has them — and here’s Team Forrest’s version of a Caller ID to Name (CNAM, CIDNAME, etc.) lookup using AnyWho, Google, and 411.com. The first file is the calleridname.pl: Continue reading

Have you downloaded Asterisk? (Your competitor probably has)

 

Asterisk is a registered trademark of Digium

Asterisk is a registered trademark of Digium

Asterisk® (a registered trademark of Digium, Inc.) simply makes sense. Take one part open source software, one part VoIP, one part PBX, and combine. What do you have? A software so popular, more than 1.5 million downloads occurred in 2008 alone.

Team Forrest can help you implement an Asterisk solution to fit your exact needs. Popular implementations include:

  • Integrating VoIP to save money on Telephone Services
  • Using Asterisk to power Call Centers (both inbound and outbound)
  • Easily integrating telecommuting / presence
  • Creating a powerful, yet affordable, business class phone system

For more information on how Team Forrest can help you, contact us today for a free consultation.

Additional readings:

FBI and Asterisk Security? Relax, Breathe, and Read

Recently, the FBI issued an advisory warning users that Asterisk (the open source VoIP / PBX software) could be compromised and then used in vishing attacks. First, If you are running an old verison of Asterisk, you should upgrade to the newer one. Any Team Forrest client that is concerned should contact helpme@teamforrest.com for a free evaluation. If you’re not a Team Forrest client, email, call, or contact us to check your platform for you— free of charge.

Secondly, don’t worry. From what we can tell, this is an old bug fixed in March of 2008. But, as always, you should run the most recent stable version of Asterisk. Not for the FBI warning; but mostly because it resolves other issues discovered. The nature of software is to find, fix, and update. Not a big deal. Again, if you’re concerned, contact Team Forrest today for a free evaluation.

For more info, please check out:

Asterisk (created and maintained by Digium) is free, open source software provided under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Asterisk is the most popular open source VoIP software available, with the Asterisk Community being the top influencer in VoIP.

VoIP Users Conference via SIP

UPDATE — Got HD? You can now connect to the VoIP Users Conference in HD Quality thanks to ZiPDX

The VoIP Users Conference gathers weekly on Fridays to discuss all things VoIP. Free, and open to the public, participants can listen live or download archived recordings.

There are three main ways to access the live conference:

  1. via SIP directly
  2. via HiDef SIP directly
  3. via PSTN (see below for the number)
  4. via the Talkshoe client

VoIP Users Conference via SIP

Recently, several participants experienced difficulties in connecting to the conference using SIP. The issue dealt with DTMF recognition and prevented the participant from entering the conference number and pin.

Thanks to the power of SIP, this problem can be circumvented using a SIP Header. Adding the SIP Header of Subject: <passcode>22622</passcode><pin>YOURPIN</pin> will bypass the DTMF needs and enter you into the conference automatically.

Using Asterisk, a SIP Header can easily be added to your dialplan. For example, if you wanted to dial *10 to reach the VoIP Users Conference, you would modify your extensions.conf to contain something like:

exten => *10,1,NoOp(VoIP Users Conference Fridays at 12pm EST. Replace YOURPIN with your talkshoe pin)
exten => *10,n,SIPAddHeader(Subject: <passcode>22622</passcode><pin>YOURPIN</pin>)
exten => *10,n,Dial(SIP/talkshoe@vuc.onsip.com)

VoIP Users Conference via Hi Def SIP

If you have an HD Voice / Wideband capable phone, you can connect directly to the conference using g722 at the following SIP URI:

  • sip:200901@login.zipdx.com

So, in Asterisk’s extensions.conf, it may look something like this:

exten => *11,1,NoOp(VoIP Users Conference Fridays at 12pm EST. g722 connection)
exten => *11,n,Dial(SIP/200901@login.zipdx.com)

REMEMBER! To use the wideband (g722) bridge, you need a wideband capable phone.

PSTN, Talkshoe, and Web

The VoIP Users Conference meets every Friday at 12pm Eastern Standard Time. More information can be found by following these links:

Residential VoIP expecting Large Growth

VoIP Tech Chat posted an interesting article regarding the expected increase of VoIP in the residential market. The article discusses the switch of residential users from such providers as Verizon and at&t to cable companies, VoIP providers, and cellular services.

While many Residential users may want to use a simple service such as those provided by cable companies, we also believe some households can greatly benefit from their own networked VoIP system — such as Asterisk or Trixbox.

With telecomuting becoming a more accepted method of work, a local Asterisk solution can separate work calls from home, provide a powerful business presence, as well as saving money on regular household calls.

Plus, the use of a dedicated computer for your phone system can also provide your home with a centralized server for storage, media, and data back-up. Talk about a win / win.

For more information on how Team Forrest can help, please call +1 (212) 937-7844 today.

AstriCon 2008

AstriCon, the official conference for the Asterisk PBX system, starts Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008. Fred Posner will be attending AstriCon this year and looks forward to meeting fellow users, developers, and fans of the Asterisk software.

If you are attending AstriCon, please give Fred a call at 212-937-7844 x501.

AstriCon is sponsored by many big names in the VoIP industry, including Digium (the premier sponsor and creator of Asterisk). Asterisk is free, open source software provided under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Asterisk is the most popular open source VoIP software available, with the Asterisk Community being the top influencer in VoIP.

Asterisk chosen over Cisco Call Manager

Sam Houston State University (over in Texas) has just switched from Cisco Call Manager over to Asterisk. We love it. Team Forrest proudly uses Asterisk and this action only shows what we’ve been saying for a while. Asterisk is an amazing, cost effective product.

A great write up is over at Asterisk VoIP News (it’s a nice quick read).

Asterisk Dial Plan Basics

VoIP Insider has a great little article about basic dialplan building with Asterisk. It’s worth a read if Asterisk, VoIP, or PBX with Asterisk is on your mind.

VoIP Insider is a blog from VoIP Supply.  VoIP Supply carries a variety of VoIP hardware, including Polycom SIP phones, Asterisk hardware, and pretty much any VoIP capable phone.

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