IP camera makers pressure researcher to cancel security talk

The presentation contained details of software flaws in major cameras

An upcoming talk covering security problems in Internet-connected cameras has been canceled after opposition from some manufacturers.

Gianni Gnesa was scheduled to give a presentation titled "Abusing Network Surveillance Cameras" on Oct. 14 at the Hack in the Box GSEC conference in Singapore.

Internet-connected video camera, or IP cameras, are widely used for security systems, offering the advantage that footage can be streamed anywhere remotely. But anything connected to the Internet poses risks if not properly secured.

ip camera

IP cameras, like this one made by Shenzhen Shixin Digital, are widely used in the security industry.

According to a writeup on the conference website, Gnesa planned to expose vulnerabilities in major surveillance cameras and show how an attacker could used them to stay undetected.

But the writeup also says Gnesa decided to pull the talk after "legal pressure from the manufacturers affected."

Gnesa, an IT security consultant with Ptrace Security in Switzerland, said via email on Tuesday he didn't immediately have time to discuss the situation in depth.

But he wrote on Twitter on Monday that "if companies would use half of the energy they use to get after researchers to fix their products, we would all be more secure."

Security researchers sometimes encounter resistance from technology vendors when they find vulnerabilities in their products.

Occasionally, the situations escalate, with companies turning to their legal departments and the courts to block the release of sensitive information.

In August, FireEye obtained an injunction from a district court in Germany to block the release of information concerning one of its security products.

FireEye sought to stop ERNW, a consultancy in Germany, from releasing some details as part of a security advisory that it felt contained too many technical details about its FireEye Malware Protection System.

Most security researchers practice what's known as responsible disclosure. Details of software problems are often not fully described until manufacturers have had time to develop and release patches.

Dhillon Andrew Kannabhiran, founder and CEO of Hack In The Box, wrote via email the decision to nix the talk was left up to Gnesa.

"It was his call citing legal pressure from the manufacturers affected," Kannabhiran wrote. "We would never pull a talk."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?