It should go without saying that government communications should be secure. With all the ransomware attacks like WannaCry and Petya going around, and the prevalence of security in the U.S. presidential election with regard to the Hillary email server scandal, most governments are taking note and shoring up their defenses against possible fraudsters and hackers.
The latest country to hop on the security bandwagon is Turkey. According to recent reports from the Daily News, Turkish members of parliament are going to be provided with new IP phones in order to enhance the security of their conversation privacy. This news came from Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Ahmet Aydin, who also added that “necessary tests” are currently being conducted.
“Security precautions were adopted and necessary tests are underway. With this system that works in closed circuit, the security of phone conversations will be at the highest level,” said Aydin, a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmaker from the southeastern province of Adiyaman.
Apparently, the Cisco (News - Alert) IP phones currently in place need to be replaced as soon as possible because they had “serious security gaps.” Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Gürsel Tekin stated, “Prof. Salvatore Stolfo from Columbia University in the U.S. previously announced that there were serious security gaps in Cisco’s VolP phones…” Tekin also pointed out that the same IP phones were used by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). This is the group that’s widely believed to have orchestrated the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt. And, understandably, Turkey’s government wants to minimize the chances of such a group being able to listen in on their conversations.
Essentially, the Turkish government has been using older phones, which were then replaced with Cisco IP phones, which are now, once again, being replaced. All of this has been done in the name of security, with the hopes of keeping important conversations private. Based on recent events, the last thing the Turkish MPs need is for FETÖ to be listening in on their phone calls, plotting its next attack.
All in all, it’s safe to say that opting for more secure IP phones is a good call on Turkey’s part. After all, look how well lax security turned out for Hillary.
Edited by Maurice Nagle