Once again we're back with Tim Klein, Technical Service Representative II here at VoIP Innovations. Tim works on the front lines assisting our customers and is well versed in the many different types of tools available to find solutions for our callers. Let's see what tips Tim has for us today as he continues with Part II.
As a Technical Service Representative II, I encounter many tools in the VoIP world that can assist you in troubleshooting everyday problems that may arise and cause issues for you and your end users. Last week, I gave you a list of five tools that you can use to mitigate and resolve these problems. Today, I'm sharing the remaining five VoIP tools.
6. BGP Toolkit
This will allow you to enter in the ASN number to see who your ISP is peering with. Websites such as bgp.he.net allow you to search by the ASN numbers, and you can cross reference that information with what is going on in the Internet Health Report.
Websites such as stat.ripe.net will show you interconnected networks from a bird's eye view using their bgplay platform. You can use the starting point as your own network to see where the traffic is going as this can help identify any potential transport carriers.
7. List of LG (Looking Glass) Servers
Websites such as traceroute.org have lists of Looking Glass Servers sorted by AS numbers. A looking glass is a piece of software running on a web server that allows external users to get a look at routing and network behavior as it originates from the remote network. A looking glass accesses a remote router and performs either a ping, trace, or one of several show commands allowing a view of the IP and BGP route tables. The information is then returned as a web page. Looking glasses are most commonly used for verifying routing between providers and for verifying that routes are propagating correctly across the internet. This can be used to identify any issues from your network to your Carrier’s network.
8. Fraud Detection/Security
With the rise in VoIP usage, so too comes the rise in security breaches and risks. Hackers are able to figure out username/passwords for extensions on your switch and then start sending out fraudulent traffic. The most common reason being insecure passwords such as ‘1234.’ Once the hacker has access to the PBX they can run various scripts in an effort to determine the proper calling pattern necessary to complete international/domestic calls successfully. If you are using VoIP Innovations, we offer a Fraud Detection add-on that can alert you of possible fraudulent calls before they get out of hand.
You can also install fail2ban on your servers. Fail2ban scans log files and bans IPs that show the malicious signs such as too many password failures. The default action is to ban the offending host/IP address by modifying the iptables firewall rules. You can then block the malicious IP for a specified period of time of your choosing. If you go back and check your Asterisk logs for the specific IP attempting to register you may see something like the following:
As you can see, there are repeated attempts to register a peer that are unsuccessful. Note: an actual Asterisk log will show the username attempting to register as well as the IP address the registration attempt came from. You can set the ban to whatever you like (24 hours, 3 days, etc). This can greatly help minimize hackers attempting to break into your server.
9. Neustar Account
Neustar, Inc. is an American technology company that provides real-time information and analytics for the internet, telecommunications, entertainment, and marketing industries. You can log into your Neustar account to see if any DIDs moved from one provider to another. This is usually an indication of numbers porting in/out and it can help you identify where the numbers are residing.
Neustar will also provide LATA and LRN (Local Routing Number) data. We use this tool everyday as this can help narrow down any potential issues you or your EU may be experiencing and what LATA your DIDs are in. You can also pull the LRN number as many carrier’s route calls are based off the LRN number of the ANI and/or DNIS. The LRN will define what switch your number resides on. You can also export the TN history to an Excel spreadsheet in the event you need to send the information to anyone.
Nagios is a free and open source computer software application that monitors systems, networks, and infrastructure. Nagios offers monitoring and alerting services for servers, switches, applications, and services. It alerts users when things go wrong and alerts them a second time when the problem has been resolved. If you have a large infrastructure you can set up Nagios alerts to notify you when potential threats arise, and it allows you to be proactive in resolving outages, abnormal behavior, and security threats before they affect critical business processes.
The programs and websites outlined in this post are suggestions for what you can use as there are many other tools out there. I hope you enjoyed this post and last week's, and most of all, that they are helpful to your VoIP businesses.