Hackers squeeze through DVR hole, break into CCTV cameras

Miscreants can copy, delete streams and even control the device


The digital video recorders of several CCTV video cameras are vulnerable to attacks that create a means for hackers to watch, copy or delete video streams, according to security researchers.

The researchers added that unless systems are properly firewalled, security flaws in the the firmware of the DVR platform also create a jumping-off point for attacks aimed at networks supporting these devices. The hackable CCTV devices from an estimated 19 manufacturers all use allegedly vulnerable firmware from the Guangdong, China-based firm Ray Sharp.

The issue was first exposed last week by a hacker using the handle someLuser, who discovered that commands sent to a Swann DVR of port 9000 were accepted without any authentication. The vulnerability created a straightforward means to hack into the DVR's web-based control panel. To make matters worse, the DVRs support Universal Plug And Play, making control panels externally visible on the net. Many home and small office routers enable UPnP by default. This has the effect of exposing tens of thousands of vulnerable DVRs to the net.

And to cap everything off, the Ray Sharp DVR platform stores clear-text usernames and passwords.

The litany of security problems allowed someLuser to develop a script to lift passwords which, once obtained, gives hackers control of vulnerable devices via built-in telnet servers thanks to wide open open control panel problem.

HD Moore, CTO of security tools firm Rapid7 founder of Metasploit, has collaborated with someLuser over the last week to validate his research.

"In addition to Ray Sharp, the exposures seem to affect rebranded DVR products by Swann, Lorex, URMET, KGuard, Defender, DEAPA/DSP Cop, SVAT, Zmodo, BCS, Bolide, EyeForce, Atlantis, Protectron, Greatek, Soyo, Hi-View, Cosmos, and J2000," Moore explained in a blog post. "The vulnerabilities allow for unauthenticated access to the device configuration, which includes the clear-text usernames and passwords that, once obtained, can be used to execute arbitrary system commands root through a secondary flaw in the web interface. someLuser's blog post includes a script for obtaining the clear-text passwords as well as a standalone exploit that yields a remote root shell on any vulnerable device.

"In short - this provides remote, unauthorised access to security camera recording systems," Moore concludes in a blog post that does a good job of summarising the issue.

Scans suggest 58,000 hackable video boxes across 150 countries are vulnerable to attack. The majority of exposed systems are in the US, India and Italy, said the researchers. Fixing the problem would seem to involve pushing out a firmware update.

A Metasploit module has been added that can be used to scan for vulnerable devices.

We've put out a query to Ray Sharp asking for comment on the alleged firmware flaws. We'll update this story as and when we hear more. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • A peek into Gigabyte's GPU Arm for AI, HPC shops
    High-performance platform choices are going beyond the ubiquitous x86 standard

    Arm-based servers continue to gain momentum with Gigabyte Technology introducing a system based on Ampere's Altra processors paired with Nvidia A100 GPUs, aimed at demanding workloads such as AI training and high-performance compute (HPC) applications.

    The G492-PD0 runs either an Ampere Altra or Altra Max processor, the latter delivering 128 64-bit cores that are compatible with the Armv8.2 architecture.

    It supports 16 DDR4 DIMM slots, which would be enough space for up to 4TB of memory if all slots were filled with 256GB memory modules. The chassis also has space for no fewer than eight Nvidia A100 GPUs, which would make for a costly but very powerful system for those workloads that benefit from GPU acceleration.

    Continue reading
  • GitLab version 15 goes big on visibility and observability
    GitOps fans can take a spin on the free tier for pull-based deployment

    One-stop DevOps shop GitLab has announced version 15 of its platform, hot on the heels of pull-based GitOps turning up on the platform's free tier.

    Version 15.0 marks the arrival of GitLab's next major iteration and attention this time around has turned to visibility and observability – hardly surprising considering the acquisition of OpsTrace as 2021 drew to a close, as well as workflow automation, security and compliance.

    GitLab puts out monthly releases –  hitting 15.1 on June 22 –  and we spoke to the company's senior director of Product, Kenny Johnston, at the recent Kubecon EU event, about what will be added to version 15 as time goes by. During a chat with the company's senior director of Product, Kenny Johnston, at the recent Kubecon EU event, The Register was told that this was more where dollars were being invested into the product.

    Continue reading
  • To multicloud, or not: Former PayPal head of engineering weighs in
    Not everyone needs it, but those who do need to consider 3 things, says Asim Razzaq

    The push is on to get every enterprise thinking they're missing out on the next big thing if they don't adopt a multicloud strategy.

    That shove in the multicloud direction appears to be working. More than 75 percent of businesses are now using multiple cloud providers, according to Gartner. That includes some big companies, like Boeing, which recently chose to spread its bets across AWS, Google Cloud and Azure as it continues to eliminate old legacy systems. 

    There are plenty of reasons to choose to go with multiple cloud providers, but Asim Razzaq, CEO and founder at cloud cost management company Yotascale, told The Register that choosing whether or not to invest in a multicloud architecture all comes down to three things: How many different compute needs a business has, budget, and the need for redundancy. 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022