by Colin Cohen | Published on October 20, 2023
Port 5060 is dedicated to Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), which allows devices to initiate, maintain, and terminate communication sessions within voice over IP (VoIP) and other multimedia applications.
Understanding Session Initiation Protocol
You use port 5060 when sending unencrypted SIP messages between two devices in a VoIP call and similar types of applications, such as voice over LTE (VoLTE). The protocol handles the communication sessions and works with other protocols to deliver voice, video, and message streams between participants.
When sending encrypted SIP messages with Transport Layer Security (TLS), you use port 5061.
This skill on Session Initiation Protocol with CCNP Collaboration-certified trainer Lalo Nunez can explain the details of SIP and how it works even more.
SIP Port 5060 and Multimedia Sessions
SIP is a text protocol similar to HTTP and SMTP. It defines the format of messages between participants of a call. Using SIP over port 5060, you can establish a session that will deliver multimedia streams such as voice and video, and these sessions can deliver multiple streams at the same time.
Is the Default SIP Port UDP 5060 or TCP 5060?
You can use either UDP or TCP as a transport protocol when sending SIP messages over port 5060. The choice you make depends on a number of factors. If you have many devices connecting to the gateway server, you may want to use UDP. Otherwise, TCP can often reduce traffic.
What is Port 5061?
Port 5061 also falls into the range of “Registered port numbers” along with port 5061. But you would use Port 5061 when sending encrypted traffic between devices during SIP sessions using TLS. Unlike port 5060, which is for unencrypted traffic.)
Secure Session Initiation Protocol Explained
Devices use SIP over port 5060 or 5061 when initiating, maintaining, and terminating VoIP communication sessions.
When one participant wants to communicate with another over the Internet, they will send messages over the port to a gateway server on their network. This server will, in turn, communicate with the other participant’s gateway server over the Internet, delivering the messages to the other participant.
What Makes SIP Port 5060 and SIP Port 5061 Different?
Both port 5060 and port 5061 are for sending messages in SIP communication sessions. The difference between the two is that port 5060 is for unencrypted traffic, while port 5061 is for traffic encrypted using TLS.
What is SIP Port 5060/5061 Used For?
Port 5060 and 5061 both deliver SIP messages in VoIP and other multimedia applications.
What is Session Initiation Protocol Traffic?
SIP traffic is a collection of text messages sent over port 5060 or 5061 between devices participating in a VoIP call or a similar multimedia application. In between the devices sit gateway servers, which communicate the messages over the Internet.
Voice over IP (VoIP) and SIP
VoIP applications allow you to make phone and video calls over the Internet without a traditional phone network. These applications use SIP over port 5060 or 5061 for communication sessions. The voice and video stream delivery typically happens over Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) or Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP).
SIP Port 5060 Potential Vulnerabilities
Attackers can abuse SIP servers over port 5060 to gain unauthorized access and initiate denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.
Unauthorized Access on UDP 5060
Attackers have been known to gain unauthorized access to SIP servers over port 5060. They typically do this to make or sell unauthorized calls or when engaging in voice phishing attacks.
5060 SIP Scanning
The first step in an SIP attack is often scanning IP addresses for SIP servers. Once an attacker has identified an SIP server, they can enumerate its configuration and attempt a brute-force attack. You can mitigate this by implementing access control, identifying threats, and enforcing message thresholds.
Are SIP 5060 Messages Secure?
SIP messages delivered over port 5060 are not secure, as they are sent unencrypted. If security is a concern, you should use port 5061 to send encrypted SIP messages using TLS.
UDP/TCP 5060 and DoS
There have been various DDoS attacks against SIP servers through methods such as INVITE of Death and RTP flooding. You can mitigate these attacks like you mitigate other SIP attacks by implementing access control and threat identification and enforcing message thresholds.
Other 5060 Vulnerabilities
Another type of SIP vulnerability over port 5060 is caller ID spoofing. In this attack, a hacker uses a SIP server to hide its identity when making calls.
Configuring and Using Port 5060
You need to open either port 5060 or port 5061 if you want to implement SIP.
Is it Safe to Open Port 5060?
While there are dangers to having port 5060 open, the port needs to be open in order to send unencrypted SIP messages over the Internet. However, you can close this port and use port 5061, which will allow you to send encrypted messages and which is more secure.
Why is SIP Port 5060 Blocked?
Port 5060 can be blocked for a variety of reasons. If you do not need to implement SIP, there is no need to have the port open, and it should then be blocked. It can also be blocked because your organization is using port 5061 instead.
How to Configure UDP 5060 or TCP 5060
How you configure port 5060 depends on the device implementing SIP. To configure the port properly on devices within your network, follow the instructions for these devices.
Key Takeaways About Port 5060
You use SIP over port 5060 to enable VoIP and similar multimedia applications. This allows the establishment of communication sessions between participants in a call. However, care must be taken to mitigate vulnerabilities associated with the port to prevent common attacks.