Arecont and Bosch - Default Security Risk

Author: IPVM Team, Published on Dec 14, 2015

Default passwords are a major security risk, enabling hackers around the world to access and control devices like IP cameras (using Shodan, turning devices into bitcoin miners, etc.). Because of that, many manufacturers now force changing the default password and using strong passwords.

But two very well known manufacturers, Arecont and Bosch, continue to take the opposite, risky and irresponsible route.

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Comments (7)

What a truly irresponsible response to credible security threats. Their devices are no longer in a world of Analog Delivery. They are devices that sit at the edge on IT's network and they need to understand that THEY very well may be the reason someone gets access to not only video, but the back end-systems of the network through DDOS attacks. I would never assume that the user will "change" the password or have the savvy to understand that putting a security asset on (even a secured vlan) is a good idea without appropriate authentication.

BOSCH and Arecont - get a brain. It's not that hard to change your build process and software to ensure tight security on your devices. Think of your customers, not your VARS. If they don't have the skills or wherewithal to change the password the moment it sits on the bench for burn-in, then you shouldn't be selling to them in the first place.

What's the year? 2015 going into 2016 - you'd think that Vendors would understand the risk. How did Target get hacked a few years back - an HVAC DDC that wasn't secured and open to an outside vendor. How many VARS request VPN or other access to the customer networks?

I strongly recommend that anyone remotely interested in working with IP stack devices use either Information Assurance to ensure their devices are compliant or use the SANS Institute's CISSP certification to ensure that their operating platforms will fit into their end customers network.

I've said this before, the Physical Security industry has GOT to get with the program, fully. Some vendors truly get it, but they are often started out of IT operations - many of the old-guard are still running the show in the development and operations departments of both end-customers, VARS and suppliers. We need to grow to meet the expectations of a widely different organization.

Scott McNeely said it perfectly when he said the network is the machine. The network is a living machine that needs care and feeding. Let's start living up to our name, Security and help the IT folks secure their networks by minimizing our impact with fewer holes and more restrictions.

Partying like it's 1999, I see...

FWIW, I believe Axis cameras are still shipped with root:pass as a default credential. Then the web interface asks you to set a root password, but it is really just changing the password.

If you ignore the prompt, streams are still available for viewing in VLC using root:pass as shown here.

I can't believe that Bosch ships with telnet open! That is crazy.

I am curious to hear someone make the case that allowing for no authentication by default is a good idea. Here is one guy:

It's a crazy position in 2015, knowing what is now know about how often default passwords are kept and how easily they can be attacked.

There it is again, and yes I intend to challenge this every time I read it. The "old guard" sure does get blamed on this board for things that are well beyond their control. I read the above remarks by the manufacturer and just because they said it does not make it so, even by inference. We (meaning people that have been in the security business for more than five minutes) are quite capable of designing, installing and maintaining an IP security system and we have been doing so for quite some time. It is not quite as complicated as you would have the world believe. Again, we don't build it folks, so stop holding us accountable for how it is delivered to the market. I am very confident that there are plenty of former analog integrators who routinely change passwords. I am equally as confident (because I read the entire account) that the group at Target who gave the HVAC vendor access are considered some of the best in their field who just got lazy or were more likely overworked. They should not really be held accountable for what happens on their network should they? It is after all within their core competence and it would be plain silly to insist that owners and staff concentrate on servicing their customer while leaving the installation of security devices to their vendor. Forget that they might have two or three hundred vendors to manage, thousands of employees, along with their daily responsibility of managing the movement of information for the corporation so that their customers can spend money in their stores, which is ultimately after all, how they make money for their shareholders.

I am curious about your requirement for Information Assurance (IA). IA is an interdisciplinary field requiring experience in IA is an interdisciplinary field requiring expertise in business, accounting, user experience, fraud examination, forensic science, management science, systems engineering, security engineering, and criminology, in addition to computer science. There is a perception shared by some that old-guard integrators are somehow cave men who are just intellectually incapable of managing these new-found concepts, when in fact we have considerable experience, years in fact, in most of these fields. We may or may not have IT degrees, but information specialist did not invent security and it does not begin and end with the network.

I am also a little baffled by your insistence that any vendor that does not have an ISC derived CISSP certification is simply not serving their customers well. Many of those who one minute insist all serious security companies should meet a Standard like ISO/IEC 17024 amazingly oppose any adoption of the simplest UL standards for minimum physical security certification. Where is the balance?

Are there installers that do not have these skills? To be sure. I personally know many electrical contractors that install security, particularly CCTV, without any of the qualifications you mention. They do so at the customers request. Who is to blame for that? Is that the contractors fault? Does he turn down the business? I have said this for years, and I have said it on this board; unless and until there are more strict standards adopted (and I mean in the form of laws or building codes - not recommendations) there is no one to blame.

Sorry Mr. Knoch, and I apologize if this offends you sir, but your "outrage" rings a bit hollow to me. But that tends to happen when you paint with a broad brush.

Mark - I take no offence. I'm certain that my "broad brush" is an indictment of my personal experiences with VARS and Integrators. I have met very few that have the depth in IP implementations. I'm certain that you have had, based upon your comments, a better experience. As per whether the industry is up to speed (the old guard) - I'd have to strongly disagree.

I believe that vendors (manufacturers) have a responsibility to lead their VARS/Integrator in the right direction, for no other reason than to protect the end-customer.

Vis-a-vis IA (Information Assurance), that was leveled directly at the Manufacturers. When I was in the direct business of selling camera equipment to the Federal Government, the question always came up, "Is your product IA Certified?" - to my knowledge, there are only one or two products that actually meet the full compliance with IA (from a military perspective). I only apply a small section of IA compliance when considering edge devices. That being their use of both storage of passwords and policies associated with default passwords, complexity and frequency of change. It's not as complicated to apply simple rules as you might think.

In anycase, I welcome spirited discussion about security as we, the security industry, should be at the forefront of good process and policy in regard to information security. Video is, in all reality, just another application in the network model. We are user of their (IT) infrastructure and need to be good denizens of said infrastructure.

Thank you for your response -


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