MiniSIP as a Plug-in

University essay from KTH/Kommunikationssystem, CoS


Internet telephony has rapidly becoming an integral part of life. Due to its low incremental cost and the wide availability of voice over IP (VoIP) based services these services being used by nearly everyone. Today there are many VoIP applications available in the market, but most of them lack basic security features. Because people use VoIP services via public hotspots and shared local area networks these VoIP applications are vulnerable to attacks, such as eavesdropping. Today, there is a great need for VoIP applications with high quality security.

MiniSIP is an open-source VoIP application platform, initially developed at KTH. High quality security has been a major focus of MiniSIP developments by several students, including the first public implementations of the secure real-time protocol (SRTP) and the Multimedia Key Exchange (MIKEY) protocol. MiniSIP implements secure end-to-end VoIP services. In addition, MiniSIP implements features such as dynamically choosing the most appropriate CODEC during a call, implementing calling policies, etc. However, it suffers from having a complicated GUI that requires the use of many libraries, rendering it both hard to build and hard support – both of which make it unsuitable for commercial purposes.

Web browser plug-ins are shared libraries that users install to extend the functionality of their browser. For example, a plug-in can be used to display content that the browser itself cannot display natively. For example, Adobe's reader plugin displays PDF files directly within the web browser. Real Network’s Streaming video player utilizes a browser plug-in to provide support for live video streaming within a web page. Adobe’s Flash player plugin is required to load or view any Flash contents – such as video or animations.

The goal of this thesis project is remove the problem of the existing MiniSIP GUIs by developing a Firefox browser plug-in for the MiniSIP application that will utilize a web-browser based GUI. The prototype that will be designed, implemented, and evaluated will implement an open-source VoIP application that is easy for a Firefox browser user to install and will be easy to use via a web interface. The long term goal is to facilitate an ordinary user to utilize VoIP communication via their web browser. A secondary goal is to re-use the code within MiniSIP, while using the web-browser to provide the GUI.

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