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NEC Develops World-Leading Technology to Prevent IP Phone SPAM
- VoIP SEAL(TM) represents a giant leap toward realization of secure VoIP phones -

*****For immediate use January 26, 2007

Tokyo, January 26, 2007 --- NEC Corporation ("NEC") announced the development of new technology for the prevention of SPam over Internet Telephony ("SPIT"), VoIP SEAL(TM). The new technology, which defends against the threat of rapidly increasing spam IP phone calls, is expected to contribute significantly to the realization of safe voice over internet protocol ("VoIP") phone networks in the future. VoIP SEAL(TM) will be exhibited at NEC's booth at the 3GSM World Congress 2007, taking place in Barcelona, Spain from February 12 - 15 (hall 8, booth 8A125).

The main features of VoIP SEAL(TM) are as follows:

(1) Calls arising from spam-generating-software and calls from real individuals are separated by a Turing test (note 1).Before connecting the call, VoIP SEAL(TM) detects and blocks the unauthorized access based on the communication pattern observed during a call. This enables the detection and blocking of SPIT and prevents the user's phone from ringing unnecessarily.
(2) By adopting a module structure, VoIP SEAL(TM) enables rapid response to new kinds of SPIT attacks, without adjusting the system, by adding and updating modules to respond to new and different kinds of SPIT.
(3) The adoption of a module structure also realizes response to a broad range of applications by enabling flexible and easy customization of systems to meet the needs of a variety of hardware, such as SIP servers, SBC (note 2), home network equipment and terminal equipment.

NEC carried out a SPIT attack (note 3) simulation project employing VoIP SEAL(TM) to verify the technology's ability to protect against SPIT. This project showed that 99% of SPIT was detected and blocked, preventing users from receiving unwanted and bothersome calls.

In recent years, the spread of low-cost IP phones has advanced significantly in comparison to fixed-line phones as a new method of communication in the next-generation network ("NGN") environment. However, although IP phones offer cost advantages, they also act as an easy platform for generating spam calls. The cost of generating a spam call over the internet is cheaper than in a traditional network by a factor of 1000. As a result, the existing infrastructure for producing spam e-mails (so called "botnets") can easily be modified to also produce spam telephone calls. Today, the number of spam emails is higher than the number of regular emails produced jointly by all of the users in the internet. If unsolicited marketing and spam calls become as frequent as spam email, constantly-ringing VoIP phones may hinder the spread of their use.

VoIP SEAL(TM) can protect and defend against SPIT, and is expected to contribute to the realization of a safe and secure NGN. The modular platform provides the flexibility required to defend against smart attackers and spammers, who are continuously enhancing their spamming software and techniques. NEC will continue to develop this technology toward its early commercialization as a VoIP solution.

About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation (NASDAQ: NIPNY) is one of the world's leading providers of Internet, broadband network and enterprise business solutions dedicated to meeting the specialized needs of its diverse and global base of customers. NEC delivers tailored solutions in the key fields of computer, networking and electron devices, by integrating its technical strengths in IT and Networks, and by providing advanced semiconductor solutions through NEC Electronics Corporation. The NEC Group employs more than 150,000 people worldwide.
For additional information, please visit the NEC home page at:
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* VoIP SEAL is a trademark of NEC Corporation.
(1) Turing test: a famous method in the information science field for testing whether the caller is a human or a machine by testing a machine's capability to perform human-like conversation. This method was described by Alan Turing in 1950.
(2) A Session Border Controller (SBC) is a session-aware device that manages VoIP and modem-over-IP ("MoIP") calls at the borders of an IP network. It prevents unauthorized access and guarantees security in the connection between networks. Unlike most network devices, session border controllers are aware of the relationship between the two parts of a VoIP call: signalling and media.
(3) SPIT attack simulation project: the calls taken at NEC's Network Laboratories (Heidelberg, Germany) were used as samples in the SPIT attack simulation project. SPIT were imitated from botnet calls. The characteristics of botnets and the content of calls originating from botnets are well known in the industry. NEC employed botnets that have already been recorded in literary documents. The SPIT detection rate was measured during the project as 99%.

NEC Press Contacts

In Japan
Diane Foley
NEC Corporation
In Europe
Chris Shimizu
NEC Europe Ltd.

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