Study of another IP camera reveals serious problems

Patches have been released now

An in-depth analysis of yet another Internet-connected security camera has revealed a host of software problems.

Alex Farrant and Neil Biggs, both of the research team for Context Information Security in the U.K, analyzed Motorola's Focus 73, an outdoor security camera. Images and video taken by the camera can be delivered to a mobile phone app.

They found they could take control of the camera remotely and control its movement, redirect the video feed and figure out the password for the wireless network the device is connected to.

One attack exploits a cross-site request forgery problem. It was possible to scan for camera connected to the Internet and then get a reverse root shell.

By tampering with DNS settings, they could intercept the alerts that the camera sends to its owner. The attack code that could enable that tampering could be planted on a Web page, they wrote in a blog post.

"If someone were to view a web page containing the snippet of script, it could compromise and subvert every vulnerable camera on their network automatically," they wrote. "Surveillance indeed."

The DNS trick meant they can also see FLV video clips that would normally be sent to a cloud storage service used by the device.

The Motorola Focus 73, which is actually manufactured by Binatone, also had a problem when connecting to a home Wi-Fi network.

When a person's home network is selected from a list, "you must enter your private Wi-Fi security key, which is then broadcasted unencrypted over the open network," they wrote.

Then there's a firmware issue. The firmware was written by a company called CVision. It appears to be generic code that was used in other kinds of IP cameras, "presumably to reduce development and support costs," they wrote.

The firmware is not encrypted or digitally signed. The research team added a backdoor to its code, which they could then upload to the camera.

"Firmware should be signed and encrypted as a minimum to stop bad firmware uploads or tampering," they wrote. "Failure to do this not only carries security risks but also business risks."

Context notified Motorola Monitors of the issues in early October. Since then, Motorola and partners that have built software for the device -- including Bintone, Hubble Connected, Nuvoton and CVision -- have worked on patches.

Firmware updates were released a month later, and more fixes "are currently being rolled out to customers' cameras via an automated update process," they wrote.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?