Mike’s Musings: Cut the Big Guys Some Slack

Commetrex’ CEO, Mike Coffee, recently noted in his blog that it is often the little guy who is chastized when something doesn’t work, when, in fact, it’s the big guy who’s at fault. And, the world of FoIP interop problems is no different. This time, however, the culprits are clear.

So, check out Mike’s Musings to learn “the Rest of the Story”.

Commetrex Is Exhibiting and Speaking at ITEXPO East

Due to SIP trunking and carrier support of T.38, FoIP is emerging from the enterprise and extending out to the service provider. But, as with the adoption of any new technology, there are technical challenges. Commetrex happens to be at the center of the emergence of FoIP. And, the result, “We Make FoIP Work!”

So, if you have any FoIP project, product, or deployment, and you have any questions about this technology, come see us at ITEXPO East 2011, booth #528. The conference and exhibition will be at the Miami Beach Convention Center February 2-4. TMC says that registration is up 30-percent over last year, and there’s a strong exhibitor line-up.

And, while you are there, be sure to check-out Mike Coffee, Commetrex’ CEO, as he delivers his “State of FoIP” presentation at Ingate’s SIP Trunking-UC Summit. The session begins at 11:00 on February 3. If you have any FoIP deployments, or may in the future, this is one session you won’t want to miss! So, register, make your travel plans, and come see and hear us in Miami Beach.

By the way, we have a limited number of All-Access guest passes to give away. These passes allow you full access to all ITEXPO sessions, presentations, workshops, and exhibits. If you are planning to attend and would like one of these passes, just contact sales and request one. But, you better hurry. The quantity is limited.

If you just want to visit the exhibit floor, register here for your free VIP pass.

Commetrex Sponsoring Jeep Give-away at ITEXPO East

ITEXPO is known for amazing giveaways—and this time is no different! And, Commetrex is proud to be one of the sponsors at this event. Check out this amazing drawing happening at ITEXPO EAST 2011!

“Ride off into the Sunset with Your Brand New Jeep!”

Here’s how you can win: When you visit the registration counter upon arrival to ITEXPO , you will be given a card with various exhibitors, including Commetrex, to visit. Stop by our booth for your stamp and, while you are there, we will update you on all of the latest developments in the FoIP world. Then, visit each of the other exhibitors and they will, in turn, stamp your card. Once you have all the required stamps, drop off your completed card at the car display. BE SURE TO BE at the display at 2:45 on Friday, February 4. You wouldn’t want to miss it when they call out your name.

Good luck!

FoIP: Does It Work? Ask FaxTap from Commetrex

It’s a question that comes from the surging rate of FoIP deployments, and we should know as Commetrex is at ground zero of fax-technology development and deployment. Because of this rapid increase, FoIP-related products and services are being implemented by organizations that have little FoIP experience, so there will be challenges, which is the reason for the question coming up. The legacy carriers are especially in uncharted waters. But the answer depends on whose technology and network you’re using. If your fax-technology source is Commetrex, you have the best there is. But the industry is still on a very steep FoIP learning curve, so you and your customers may need some help, such as Commetrex’ FaxTap for T.38 and FaxTap for PCM. These products will either take a Wireshark capture or PCM recording of a fax session, render the image, if possible, and tell you in a synopsis just what happened during the session.

A Shanghai-based company recently licensed FaxTap for T.38 for use in a lawful-intercept (LI) application. Each LI system shipped includes FaxTap to decode and render the image in fax transactions.

And, there’s more where FaxTap came from: FaxTap is based on Commetrex’ PortableT30, our Fax Modem Bundle, and T.38 protocol engine. Each of these licensed technologies. allow you to bring your server, gateway, or test equipment to market in months, rather than years, and do it at the absolute minimum investment. What’s more…it works, after all we’ve now been at it for 20 years, so we’ve figured a few things out.

So, to learn more about FaxTap For T.38, FaxTap for PCM, or any of our other award winning products, contact us at

We Were Attacked by SIPvicious!

We recently installed a new firewall, but left our old one up during the switchover. Unbeknown to us, the old one had a hole open for our IP PBX and some hacker found it. Not good. We came in one morning to find that our phone system couldn’t make calls. It took a few hours, but after checking everything else, we found that the PBX was being flooded with SIP Invites. They weren’t being accepted because they couldn’t get authenticated, but the frequency of he Invites was overloading the server, making it unable to do anything else.

We traced the attacker to an ITSP in Sheffield England, and the software being used to SIPvicious since it can be identified by the user-agent field in the SIP headers of “friendly scanner.” Friendly, my eye.

Here’s some of the SIPvicious tutorial on the Web:

“In order to hack SIP-based phone systems to make free calls, use the SIPvicious suite of tools which allow for easy “auditing” of SIP-based VoIP systems. First use Svmap to scan an IP range to find an available target. Once the scanner finds a couple of these, use Svwar to connect to these proxies and identify the ones that have been configured to not require authentication. Then, use X-Lite, a free softphone to make international calls using this vulnerable SIP proxy. Enjoy!”

The good news is…no permanent damage done other than several wasted hours of one of our top guys. The moral of the story is…it pays to be alert. Don’t let it happen to you.