Monday, December 26, 2011

VoIP Phone Tap Taps

Tapping a VoIP phone line isn't difficult... via Janitha

Here's a quick background on what's going on. In 10/100 twisted pair ethernet networks, only two of the four pairs of wires are actually used for data transmission. From a computer's perspective, the orange pair is for RX and the green pair is for TX. The passive splice tap works by connecting a sniffer's RX to either the RX or TX of the wire being sniffed. By having two RX interfaces on the sniffer, you can capture full duplex traffic on the wire.

Before starting, you will need the ingredients for a passive splice tap. Two punch down type 8P8C (aka RJ45) IDC connector jacks, A punch-down tool, Two regular pass-though ethernet cables, a sharp knife, clear tape, and an alibi. You also need a laptop to log the data with two ethernet interfaces (two usb to ethernet adapters will do the job). Now for the instructions.

First take the cable you want to tap and cut the casing long ways a few inches to expose the 4 pairs of wires inside. Isolate the green and the orange pair of twisted wires.

Next, take one of the jacks and find the orange and orange-white connectors (will look like two blades with a gap between). Put the jack perpendicular to the orange pair of wires. Now punch down the orange wire in to the orange connector, and the orange-white wire in to the orange-white connector. Take the another jack and repeat the process, but this time punch the green wire in to the orange connector, and the green-white in to the orange-white connector.

At this point, the tap it physically done. Yes, It's that simple. Now connect each of the jacks to the ethernet interfaces on the laptop using the two regular ethernet cables. The sniffer laptop will be like 'wtf mate' and fail at auto negotiating a link since only the RX wires are hooked up. So bring the two interfaces up manually in promiscuous mode (if in *nix, use ifconfig with the promisc switch).

Finally fire up wireshark or your favorite packet sniffer. If you are using wireshark, select capturing on the 'Any' interface as we want to capture data on both ethernet adapters at the same time. If the sniffer app does not have an 'any' interface, simply start two instances and capture the two interfaces separately. Further more, you can bond the two interfaces so you can treat the full-duplex as a single interface if you have that much free time.

Or, you can make one of these.

Why do I mention it?
Because I too often hear, "Can they really tap a digital phone?"