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Unified Communications Magazine May 2008
Volume 1 / Number 6
Unified Communications Magazine
Zippy Grigonis

Some Good News and Bad News

First, the good news. Readers are aware of my unabashed enthusiasm for voicemail transcription services capable of transcribing voicemail into text and send the transcribed messages to you via email and/ or SMS. The first service I ever tried was Spinvox, followed by SimulScribe, which has visual voicemail capability – it delivers the transcription along with an audio file, downloading them to a custom smartphone application for your mobile phone, Blackberry, Goodlink-enabled phone and/or your email account, so you can read your voicemail.

By Rich Tehrani, Publisher's Outlook

Recently, SimulScribe changed its name to PhoneTag. According to PhoneTag’s CEO Jamie Siminoff (who maintains a personal blog at http://jamessiminoff.com), changing the name of the company to PhoneTag was a terrific idea. He says sales have increased dramatically since the announcement of the new name and his customers feel more comfortable recommending the service to others, since the name is now easy to remember.

Siminoff got the idea for PhoneTag’s visual voicemail while on a 2003 business trip to Los Angeles, when he went out to dinner with friends William Wachtel and his son, Jesse Wachtel. Before they could sit down, William spent 20 minutes wading through a backlog of voicemails gathered during a day filled with meetings. Jesse commented to James, “Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just read your voicemail?” By sheer coincidence, James was at the time working with voice recognition technologies. He soon had an idea how to build such a system and the ultimate result was PhoneTag.

PhoneTag works with all major U.S. telecom carriers and networks including: AT&T, Alltel, Cincinnati Bell, Sprint, Skype, T-Mobile, Verizon, Virgin and so forth. You can use it to unify your mobile, home and work phones into one unlimited voicemail box. You can now forward your voicemails as easily as you can your emails. As for why else Siminoff is so happy, what new features the service now offers and where his laptop is situated, be sure to check out my podcast with him, which you can find here: www.tmcnet.com/1979.1

Half a Million Hacked Websites

Now, the bad news. After reading reports that there are at least a half a million hacked websites, I can only recoil in astonishment. In other words, if users hit any of these 500,000 sites using IE they will likely be infected? Talk about an electronic pandemic. This is a major problem and very scary.

I know we at TMC have been hit with an SQL injection attack in the past that was not successful. For those unfamiliar with the term, an SQL injection attack exploits a security vulnerability occurring in an application’s database layer. The vulnerability appears when user input is either incorrectly filtered for string literal escape characters embedded in SQL statements or else the user input is not strongly typed and thereby unexpectedly executed. SQL injection attacks are a special instance of a more general class of vulnerabilities that appear whenever one programming or scripting language is embedded inside another such language.

These sorts of attacks seem to constantly propagate and it has to be very scary for companies who have websites but don’t have the technical staff to deal with these issues.

Brian Krebs over at the Washington Post has a very good article with details and thoughts on using FireFox to protect yourself from such websites. (www.tmcnet.com/1980.1).

I know we at TMC have been hit with an SQL
injection attack in the past that was not
successful... an SQL injection attack exploits
a security vulnerability occurring in an
application’s database layer.

I have met with many security experts over the years and in the last 12 months many have become quite alarmed at the rate of security breaches and this article encapsulates some of these concerns. There are still many other vulnerabilities out there and it seems to me that companies in the security consulting business have a bright future.

Unified Communications Communications Magazine Table of Contents



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