Axis Exploit Allows Changing Camera Root Password Confirmed

Author: John Honovich, Published on Aug 02, 2016

IPVM has confirmed that using the Axis remote format string vulnerability, an attacker can easily change the root password of the camera, taking control of the entire camera and blocking out the legitimate user. This was submitted to IPVM last week.

This is in addition to the already severe unauthorized remote root access that we tested and verified recently.

How To

All that needs to be done is call a script with the replacement password and the password is changed. We believe this is a built-in utility that Axis uses internally and is available to root users such as those exploiting the remote format string vulnerability.

We are not disclosing the name of the script. Though the name is fairly obvious and we suspect many people with deep knowledge of Axis products are already well aware of it, we do not want to publicize that specific.

Impact Significant

The original exploit provides root access but not the web root password. Without that, one cannot log into the camera's web interface nor easily see nor change video / device settings. But once the root password is set by the attacker (with this Axis provided script), they then can easily spy on the video feed, change how the camera is configured, etc. 

This can be exploited remotely for publicly accessible cameras (including via port forwarding and UPnP) but it can also be done locally by rival integrators or manufacturer competitors that have access to a site.

Access Control Impacted Too

Also worth noting that this same procedure works on Axis A1001 access control panels, which is likely even a greater risk given the operational importance of access control vs video.

 

Axis Step Up And Better Notify The Industry

While Axis did some initial publicity of the vulnerability, they have done little since the working exploit was announced. They must know that this password script exists and can be easily called, making the vulnerability far more impactful.

Axis please go out and use your unrivaled marketing muscle to make it clear to every user out there the severity of this exploit and the need to upgrade every camera every where.

5 reports cite this report:

Hacked DVRs Surge To 400,000 on Oct 19, 2016
The global internet is under attack from record breaking botnets. And it is getting worse, Mirai doubled in size in the last month. Shamefully,...
Hacked Dahua Cameras Drive Massive Mirai Cyber Attack on Sep 27, 2016
Cyber attacks are accelerating and IP cameras are behind many of them. Worse, last week, a 'massive' attack was carried out using numerous Dahua...
Axis Hosted Video Decade of Failure on Aug 29, 2016
Do you want to 'head up' Axis hosted video offerings? Axis almost never publicly promotes senior positions, but for such an unattractive job they...
Axis Hides Exploit Danger on Aug 09, 2016
Axis is hiding the severity and danger of the 'remote string format' vulnerability. We ask Axis to fully communicate the risks of the released...
Axis Camera Hack Tested on Jul 21, 2016
Full disclosure by the researcher of the Axis critical security vulnerability has been made. But what does this mean? Does it even work? What can...
Comments (10): PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Access Control

Hikvision Access Control Tested on Oct 19, 2017
Hikvision aggressive pricing and marketing combined with generally reliable hardware and free software has made them a major player in video...
Multipoint Lock Access Control Tutorial on Oct 17, 2017
Doors are notoriously weak at stopping entry, and money can be misspent on wrong locks that leave doors quite vulnerable. While closed and locked...
PoE Powered Access Control Tutorial on Oct 12, 2017
Powering access control with Power over Ethernet, like for IP cameras, has become increasingly common.  However, the demands for access power are...
Dahua Access Control Tested on Oct 10, 2017
Can Dahua become a major force in access control? We bought Dahua's ASC1202B to find out. We tested Dahua access and its management application...
Delayed Egress Access Control Tutorial on Oct 04, 2017
Is it ever legal to lock people into a building? The answer is: Yes... under specific situations. With so much of access control driven by life...
Door Closers: Critical Security Hardware on Oct 02, 2017
It might be the most unappreciated piece of door hardware, but it is one of the most important. Door Closers have an important job: automatically...
Propped Doors Access Control Tutorial on Sep 28, 2017
Doors should keep 'bad guys' out. One of the most basic problems with doors is people propping them open: Even worse, door propping...
Access Control Job Walk Guide on Sep 26, 2017
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
Genetec Launches Cloud Access Control (Synergis SaaS) on Sep 21, 2017
Genetec's cloud everything expansion continues, with their announcement of Synergis SaaS edition, joining their cloud video offering Stratocast,...
Automatic Door Operators For Access Tutorial on Sep 20, 2017
Opening and closing doors might sound simple, but it takes a high-tech piece of door hardware to pull it off. Integrating automatic door operators...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Uniview Recorder Backdoor Examined on Oct 20, 2017
A Chinese research group has identified a vulnerability in Uniview recorders that allows backdoor access in a method similar to the Dahua...
Hikvision Access Control Tested on Oct 19, 2017
Hikvision aggressive pricing and marketing combined with generally reliable hardware and free software has made them a major player in video...
Verkada, Silicon Valley VSaaS Startup, Targets Enterprise on Oct 19, 2017
Verkada says they are building an enterprise-class VSaaS offering, calling it "The new platform for video security". This is a departure from the...
Exacq Unbreaks Avigilon Integration on Oct 18, 2017
For nearly 4 years, Exacq had broken and effectively blocked use with Avigilon cameras, as IPVM reported in January 2014. Now, Exacq has...
Search More Important Than Live Monitoring - Statistics on Oct 18, 2017
Search is overall more important than live monitoring to integrators, according to new IPVM statistics.  The key themes found in integrator...
Axis 'Sold Out' P3707-PVE Multi-Imager Tested on Oct 18, 2017
Axis faced significant product shortages over the summer. Perhaps the most notorious and significantly sold out model was the Axis P3707-PE 8MP...
Dahua Removes Auto Rebooting on Oct 17, 2017
For years, Dahua has automatically programmed its IP cameras to reboot weekly, a highly atypical and questionable practice. Following IPVM...
Deep Learning Tutorial For Video Surveillance on Oct 17, 2017
Deep learning is a growing buzzword within physical security and video surveillance. But what is 'deep learning'? In this tutorial, we explain...
Multipoint Lock Access Control Tutorial on Oct 17, 2017
Doors are notoriously weak at stopping entry, and money can be misspent on wrong locks that leave doors quite vulnerable. While closed and locked...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact