Mark Donahue Mark Donahue is an associate editor for Telephony magazine. Previously, he worked in The Associated Press’ Chicago bureau, as well as two trade publications. He graduated from...more


London, UK and Burlington, MA, September 23, 2008 —XConnect, the leader in VoIP Peering, and Acme Packet, Inc. (NASDAQ: APKT), the leader in session border control solutions, today announced successful testing of new methods that assist in the prevention of Spam over Internet Telephony (SPIT), also known as voice spam.


Unlike email spam, SPIT is still relatively uncommon and was somewhat obscure prior to the recent significant worldwide growth of VoIP communications. Now that VoIP has become more ubiquitous, the disruptive and intrusive nature of unwanted calls, coupled with the difficulty in detecting SPIT, has made this up-and-coming threat hard to ignore. Consequently, industry bodies such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) have recently begun placing increased focus on developing approaches to dealing with SPIT.


In one of the proposed approaches, peering federations use upstream SIP elements to tag or mark call attempts with a spam score indicating the likelihood of SPIT. Session border controllers (SBCs) are then configured at the borders between originating and terminating networks to interpret these scores and act accordingly. For example, a low or zero-value score will result in the SBC forwarding the call to the intended destination, while a higher score may result in the call being rerouted to a secure destination or rejected altogether by the SBC. Managed federations are good candidates for this approach and many of XConnect’s customers, across federations, have demanded significant SPIT detection and protection measures as prerequisites to enabling secure multi-lateral interconnections.   XConnect and Acme Packet are working together to implement this new methodology for the first time. 


“Until now, the few industry attempts to implement SPIT prevention have been ineffective, because approaches that mimic email spam solutions do not account for the realities and architectures of voice,” said Eli Katz, CEO of XConnect. “XConnect’s approach is the first to create an industry-standards-based infrastructure to allow calls and multimedia IP sessions to be identified and tagged with advanced SPIT threat information. This enables communication service providers to deal with this potential threat in an intelligent manner, on a call-by-call basis.”


“As more and more VoIP networks become interconnected, SPIT has the potential to create a plague that’s even worse than email spam,” stated Seamus Hourihan, vice president of marketing and product management at Acme Packet. “Acme Packet, leveraging its Net-SAFE™ (Session-Aware Filtering and Enforcement) security framework, is committed to working in tandem with VoIP peering federation providers, such as XConnect, who are actively engaged in preventing SPIT as well as other undesirable network activity.”


“SPIT may not be a household word yet, but service providers understand the potential for detracting from the VoIP experience,” said Jon Arnold of J. Arnold & Associates. “This spam score will provide another valuable metric to determine the quality of VoIP traffic that is being peered between service providers.”


Links to the IETF drafts describing the SPIT prevention approach mentioned above, as well as other relevant material, can be accessed via XConnect’s online media center (

About XConnect Global NetworksLondon based XConnect is the leading provider of secure, ENUM based Peering Federations.  XConnect’s services enable telecom companies to offer rich multimedia IP communications on a cross-network basis and reduce interconnection costs.  Backed by Tier1 Venture Capital firms including Accel Partners and Venrock Associates, XConnect was selected by the cable industry in the Netherlands to operate the first national VoIP peering solution, and has lead industry consolidation via the acquisition of the European carrier ENUM exchange, and US-based peering service IPeerX Inc. For more information, please visit Acme Packet

Acme Packet, Inc. (NASDAQ: APKT), the leader in session border control solutions, enables the delivery of trusted, first class interactive communications—voice, video and multimedia sessions—and data services across IP network borders. Our Net-Net family of session border controllers, multiservice security gateways and session routing proxies supports multiple applications in service provider, large enterprise and contact center networks—from VoIP trunking to hosted enterprise and residential services to fixed-mobile convergence. They satisfy critical security, service assurance and regulatory requirements in wireline, cable and wireless networks; and support multiple protocols—SIP, H.323, MGCP/NCS and H.248—and multiple border points—interconnect, access and data center. Our products have been selected by more than 540 customers in 84 countries, including 29 of the top 30, and 85 of the top 100 service providers in the world. For more information, contact us at +1 781.328.4400, or visit

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