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I'm developing a public VoIP relay server, that will help bypass internet firewalls by allowing two clients to connect with it and then it will relay data between the two. Both clients will connect with an API endpoint to authenticate first and request a VoIP session, encryption keys etc. The sole job of the VoIP server is to relay data. I was thinking of providing a 64-Bit random number (ID) using a CNG to both clients along with the encryption keys - from the API endpoint. The way it will work is that when the clients connect with VoIP server they will identify themselves by just providing the ID in plaintext (no SSL). The relay server will look at the IDs (and whether they are valid, not used already etc) and pair the two connections internally and reply with a Confirmation message to both clients that the link is active. Then clients can use the encryption keys (AES) to start sending encrypted data to each other. The benefit I see of this approach is that that I don't have to write any encryption code for the VoIP relay server and will simplify the development of VoIP by a great margin! Do you guys think this is a secure setup? Is this prone to Man-in-the-middle attacks?

Some Clarification: Initially both clients will connect with the API EndPoint(RestFul Service) over a secure connection (SSL) to authenticate themselves, request a VoIP call, which will create two unique IDs (the pair would be sent to the VoIP Relay Server as well) and AES Encryption keys (only sent to the clients). The idea is that VoIP server does Not need to know anything about the connection so why waste development time and effort with setting up SSL. It will only pair two connections to each other, so just verify the IDs that each incoming connection is providing and then pair the two connections together (i.e. forward data from A->B and B->A). Clients will use AES encryption on their ends to encrypt data they are sending to the relay server but won't be TLS/SSL protocol. Regarding IDs, both clients will get a unique ID but the relay server would have both IDs, so it can pair them.

  • 1) how gets the ID to the clients? 2) where do the encryption keys come from? 3) does "sending encrypted data to each other" imply a TLS secured (indirect) connection? 4) if 2 clients provide the same ID, will they get paired? – SEJPM Apr 8 '15 at 21:22
  • @SOJPM I've updated the question with more details – tunafish24 Apr 8 '15 at 21:56
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As you described it, this relay scheme is secure, if the data relayed via the server is properly authenticated and encrypted.

The only attack vector I found would be, that an attacker could determine (based on the pairing codes) which 2 clients want to talk which each other, but traffic analysis would have shown this either way.

As the API distributes keys to the clients you might want to implement/use ECDHE_PSK_* TLS cipher suites between the two clients, so that event the API can't read the traffic. Wikipedia
You can use TLS (and I'd recommend it) for end-to-end communication between the clients, so you still won't have to implement TLS for the relay server.

  • Thanks for answering the question. I've decided to make a small change and now instead of the API assigning keys. One of the clients will send a Public Key to the API, which the API will forward to the other client along with Pairing Codes. When the clients connect with the relay server and after it pairs both clients, then the client that received Public Key will use that key to encrypt AES key and send it to the other client. That way API won't have any knowledge of the shared key. – tunafish24 Apr 16 '15 at 0:48

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