Topic Last Modified: 2011-05-02
Eavesdropping can occur when an attacker gains access to the data path in a network and has the ability to monitor and read the traffic. This is also called sniffing or snooping. If the traffic is in plain text, the attacker can read the traffic when the attacker gains access to the path. An example is an attack performed by controlling a router on the data path.
The default recommendation and setting for traffic within Microsoft Lync Server 2010 is to use mutual TLS (MTLS) between trusted servers and TLS from client to server, rendering this attack very difficult to impossible to achieve within the time period in which a given conversation could be attacked. TLS authenticates all parties and encrypts all traffic. This does not prevent eavesdropping, but the attacker cannot read the traffic unless the encryption is broken.
The TURN protocol does not mandate the traffic to be encrypted and the information that it is sending is protected by message integrity. Although it is open to eavesdropping, the information it is sending (that is, IP addresses and port) can be extracted directly by simply looking at the source and destination addresses of the packets. The A/V Edge service ensures that the data is valid by checking the Message Integrity of the message using the key derived from a few items including a TURN password, which is never sent in clear text. If SRTP is used, media traffic is also encrypted.