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Kamailio Security Voice over IP

Kamailio Bytes – SIP over TLS (SIPS)

Using Transport Layer Security (TLS) to protect SIP traffic from modification / manipulation and guarantee message authenticity.

It’s probably pretty evident to most why you’d want to use TLS these days,

SIP Secure – aka sips has been around for a long time and is supported by most SIP endpoints now.

Kamailio supports TLS, and it’s setup is very straightforward.

I’ve got a private key and certificate file for the domain nickvsnetworking.com so I’ll use those to secure my Kamailio instance by using TLS.

I’ll start by copying both the certificate (in my case it’s cert.pem) and the private key (privkey.pem) into the Kamailio directory. (If you’ve already got the private key and certificate on your server for another application – say a web server, you can just reference that location so long as the permissions are in place for Kamailio to access)

Next up I’ll open my Kamailio config (kamailio.cfg), I’ll be working with an existing config and just adding the TLS capabilities, so I’ll add this like to the config:

!define WITH_TLS

That’s pretty much the end of the configuration in kamailio.cfg, if we have a look at what’s in place we can see that the TLS module loads it’s parameters from a separate file;

#!ifdef WITH_TLS
# ----- tls params -----
modparam("tls", "config", "/etc/kamailio/tls.cfg")
#!endif

So let’s next jump over to the tls.cfg file and add our certificate and private key;

[server:default]
method = TLSv1
verify_certificate = yes
require_certificate = yes
certificate = fullchain.pem
private_key = privkey.pem

Boom, as simple as that,

After restarting Kamailio subscribers can now contact us via TLS using sips.

You may wish to disable TCP & UDP transport in favor of only TLS.

A note about CAs…

If you’re planning on rolling out SIP over TLS (sips) to existing IP phones it’s worth looking at what Certificate Authorities (CAs) are recognised by the IP phones.

As TLS relies on a trust model where a CA acts kind of like a guarantor to the validity of the certificate, if the IP phone doesn’t recognise the CA, it may see the certificate as Invalid.

Some IP phones for example won’t recognize Let’s Encrypt certificates as valid, while others may not recognize any of the newer CAs.

Vendor Yealink publishes a list of CAs their IP phones recognize, which could save you a lot of headaches when setting this up and buying certificates.

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