WHEN CCTV IS HACKED: WHO BENEFITS?
CCTV systems are in their prime today, and are used all over the world. These systems however can lead to a false sense of security. Most of them use proprietary software, which has not been adequately tested for security vulnerabilities. This can be well demonstrated by reverse engineering the firmware, and will using the information generated to gain root access to the security system remotely.
If you are a CCTV Installer or manager, this should concern you. It happened a year ago and now it has returned. This time it is worse and lased with a more calculated vengeance.
As more and more gadgets join the #web adoring generation (become web enabled and thus available in the #cyberspace) more care than ever imagined has to be deployed to avert disastrous acts bordering on extreme anarchy. To start with, DVRs, NVRs, IPCams, etc are deployed to guard premises by providing a constant watch over a particular area concern. It is for this reason that cameras are even assigned job descriptions during an actual installation project.
Having your CCTV systems linked to the internet is common practice these days as it offers the home/business owner or security personnel the capacity to watch and also manage their CCTV systems from another location. Though you think you are securing your premises, somewhat alarmingly your security systems can be open to attack if left unguarded.
ACCIDENTAL OR PREMEDITATED?
A majority of web linked systems are prone to assault, either per-meditated, or by methods of automatic crawler bots.
Regardless of the motive such attacks could leave a CCTV system ineffective by either
– corrupting or removing protocols,
– erasing video clip recordings, or even
– restricting accessibility to the unit.
Additionally hackers and their malicious software and viruses can cause harm to various other hardware devices that are hooked up to the CCTV system such as DVR’s.
WHO BENEFITS THEN?
Though it can be claimed that most cyber criminals or crawler bots action is not intended to assault CCTV systems in any way, and that they are more probably trying to find internet servers or data web servers that they could get to; this may not always be the case. True, the majority of malicious web crawling software packages are created to find information and spread viruses. But think of a situation where sophisticated criminals calculatedly targets a premise and takes over the CCTV system and then using the newfound visibility to the various parts of the premises commandeers remotely an actual robbery with all the scene actors being directed to the right places to go to find their target or evade #detection- all from a remote location!! Perfect #robbery, isn’t it?
“ZOMBIED” CCTV SYSTEM
Secondly, you often hear of #fraudulent computer geniuses designing programs to covertly take over your computer. In our case, all this would be going on in the background without the owner noticing. Remember some malicious software is able to sneaks down your internet connection, many times even when your the system is switched off.
This software will then silently in the background it scan through system and even install programs.
I will use DXXXXXA products to illustrate this case.
Most of the DVR/NVR come with a default setup of 4 user accounts. 2 of them are admin accounts and the other 2 are the guest accounts.
- The 2 guest accounts, the “guest” is for web-interface access and the “666666” is for local access. Both are very limited and are used to limit the access of your guest with what they can view or use.
- The other 2 admin accounts are the important ones. The “888888” account is for local use only and the “admin” account is your most important account since it can be used to access the DVR/NVR in any way you like and make changes as you wish. Those capabilities make this account very important and also very important to protect.
Below is what some forensics conducted on a client system revealed on a certain client’s system
When we checked the user accounts, we found a fifth account, “system” account. The name has nothing to do with your system and it is implemented to conceal the real objective of this account which is to gain administrative privileges to your system. We started to investigate on how this account could have gotten there and discovered that all the users that got hacked by this method had one thing in common. They were using the default password “admin” for the admin account, which is a violation of the most basic security protocols in any computer system. The solution for this security breach is simple! Delete the fifth account, named “system” and change your administrative password for the “admin” account from “admin” to your chosen password. Remember that your password cannot exceed 6 characters in our systems. Don’t forget also to change the password on all the devices you are using to access this DVR/NVR system.
- When forwarding ports for your CCTV system on your router, do not use the DMZ (demilitarized zone) feature for your surveillance system on your router since enabling this feature will give the user unlimited access to the DVR/NVR that is on the network.
- When you have multiple cameras connected to your NVR, do not forward the ports for all those network cameras. It is unnecessary, since the cameras are used by an NVR that is already forwarded for the remote access.
- Instead of giving the user your admin password, create a user account and allow access only to features that he needs and uses.
- Remember to change the password as often as you can, it will definitely make any hackers life harder to access your system.
Reasons Why You Should Consider Professional CCTV Installation
While there are some instances where do-it-yourself is a reasonable alternative to hiring professionals, it’s essential to weigh up the pros and cons when it comes to CCTV installation. Attempting it yourself can lower the effectiveness of your system and result in problems further down the track, costing you precious time, money and effort. This guide explores 4 reasons why it’s recommended to get a professional installation.
1. Reliable installation
When going it alone on a technical endeavour like CCTV installation, you may not have
all the necessary information at hand, increasing the likelihood of costly mistakes. However, a professional who specializes in this work has the knowledge and expertise to ensure all cameras and wiring are set up correctly. Professional hire also results in higher system reliability, reducing the chance of things going wrong during operation. Just imagine if a crime occurred but didn’t get caught on camera due to an installation fault! To avoid this, it’s best to get professional help.
2. State-of-the-art technology
Sure, installing a basic CCTV system yourself might seem simple. But is it really the best solution? Don’t your premises deserve the highest level of protection? Professional installers have access to all the latest systems, utilizing state-of-the-art technology that offers unparalleled performance. From linking up the CCTV feed to your smartphone or tablet right through to features such as full motion control and audio recording, a professionally installed system could make a very large difference to the security of your building.
3. Thorough training provided
CCTV systems have come a long way since the days of small, grainy black and white monitors. Some can be particularly complex, requiring thorough training to use. If you install a system yourself, you may not be aware of all the included functions and features, meaning you can’t realize its full potential. However, a professional installer will know all the system’s ins and outs and can show you – and your staff or family members – how to work it correctly and take full advantage of everything it has to offer.
4. Installation can be risky
Many people don’t possess the technical and electrical knowledge required to install a CCTV system, which can be extremely dangerous when working with wiring. It is strongly advised to let a professional handle this aspect of installation. Injury can also occur when working at heights, such as falling off a ladder when trying to fix CCTV cameras in place. To avoid such hazards, it’s best to leave installation to a capable professional, whose comprehensive training will minimize risk and keep you safe
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