Would-be extortionists are exploiting the vulnerabilities of Voice over Internet Protocol to hold businesses, hospitals, schools and public safety agencies hostage using well-timed but unsophisticated distributed-denial-of-service attacks, experts say. Among other things, security specialists blame the problem on a lack of adequate authentication technology for VoIP calls. The Department of Homeland Security says it is working with industry to "develop effective mitigation and security responses."

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