Researchers are looking for ways to ensure that the momentum built up by VoIP technology is not derailed by the increase in security threats.

The National Science Foundation in the US has issued US$600,000 to the University of North Texas to lead development of a multi-university test bed to study VoIP security. Other participants are Columbia University, Purdue University and the University of California-Davis.

VoIP spam, denials of service, 911 services and quality of service will be among the areas targeted for research during the three-year project. The research will also look at vulnerabilities that emerge from the integration of VOIP and legacy networks.

The group of schools plans to disseminate its findings widely to technology developers, academia and others involved in network convergence.

The project is being led by Ram Dantu, an assistant professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Dantu is co-chairman of an upcoming workshop on VoIP security to be held in Washington.

VOIP security is an issue that vendors have been tackling as well. A group of them joined forces last year to form the VoIP Security Alliance.