Introducing PSTN

PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network—the analog telephone network. The concept of analog has changed in past years, even in the PSTN environment, with the advent of Intelligent Networks (INs) and facilities such as toll-free phone numbers and the other value-added services (VAS).

From the perspective of penetration testers, PSTN is beneficial. Most companies have some sort of PSTN active link that is often ready to answer modem calls (wardialing, from an attacker's point of view). These include

• "Generic" RAS dialups

• IT management RAS dialups

• Mainframe RAS dialups

• Roadrunners and sale-agents RAS dialups

• The CEO's (and her daughter's) exclusive RAS dialups

• External suppliers

These "phone links" could represent attack paths—uncontrolled channels for accessing a company's internal network.

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