ADI Finally Fixes Hikvision OEM'd Security Risk

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jun 09, 2016

After refusing for months to fix the obvious security risks, ADI has given in and fixed it.

Two important lessons here:

  • ADI knows little about technology or information security
  • Speaking up publicly about problems is key to getting them fixed

ADI Refuses at First

Not only did ADI refuse to fix it, their justification was shockingly incompetent.

Even though we alerted them to this in September 2015, when we followed up in March, it took them days and, according to them, "working with multiple engineering groups to confirm [their] response."

Their response was bizarre, emphasizing a 'patch':

If the patch had been installed in your camera, and your password configured as the patch recommends, the camera would reflect strong security.

Obviously Not Strong

The problem was the patch was simply an ignorable pop-up, not an actual fix to the underlying issues, like their supplier Hikvision did and the other OEMs implemented.

Obviously, an ignorable pop-up is not the 'strong security' that they claimed, something that Hikvision even made clear to them.

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Now that ADI is a 'manufacturer', you would hope they could understand such basics. Unfortunately not.

Speaking Up / Fixing It

Our March 2016 article, ADI Refuses to Fix Their OEM'd Hikvision Security Risks, evidently was enough to push them to make the change. Between the thousands that read it on IPVM and the tens of thousands who received it in our newsletter, the word was out.

In May 2016, ADI finally rolled out the fix, and in their instructions, changing their position and admitting that with the new version:

The system will check the password strength; “Risky” passwords will not be accepted.

Their previous 'patched' version was clearly not 'strong', like they had claimed, and the risk remained. This new version at least brings ADI up to the level of current Hikvision.

It is all to easy for mega corporations like ADI to ignore private complaints but when concerns are raised publicly, the exposure helps raise enough attention and inquires that companies need to review their approaches and do better.

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