Dahua Access Control Tested

By: Brian Rhodes, Published 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 to see how it stacks up to competitors in the security space.

With this report, we cover these findings and more:

  • 4 key strengths and 5 key weaknesses
  • The biggest disruptive element of Dahua's access control
  • Dahua-only compatible elements of the platform
  • A teardown view image showing the inside of the Controller
  • 4 video screencasts explaining how Dahua's management client works
  • Comparison of Dahua's Controller to Axis, HID and Mercury
  • Examination of video verification strengths and weakness
  • Challenges with system reporting
  • Initial cybersecurity review

Inside, we detail our findings on how well the system operates, where it is weak, and how it compares to other access systems.

[Note: We have bought and are testing Hikvision's access control offering as well, expect that report later in October.]

*** ***** ****** * major ***** ** ****** control? ** ***********'* ********** **** ***.

** ****** ***** ****** and *** ********** *********** to *** *** ** stacks ** ** *********** in *** ******** *****.

**** **** ******, ** cover ***** ******** *** more:

  • * *** ********* *** 5 *** **********
  • *** ******* ********** ******* of *****'* ****** *******
  • *****-**** ********** ******** ** the ********
  • * ******** **** ***** showing *** ****** ** the **********
  • * ***** *********** ********** how *****'* ********** ****** works
  • ********** ** *****'* ********** to ****, *** *** Mercury
  • *********** ** ***** ************ strengths *** ********
  • ********** **** ****** *********
  • ******* ************* ******

******, ** ****** *** findings ** *** **** the ****** ********, ***** it ** ****, *** how ** ******** ** other ****** *******.

[****: ** **** ****** and *** ******* *********'* access ******* ******** ** well, ****** **** ****** later ** *******.]

[***************]

Key ****** *********

*** ***** ****** *****'* key ********* ***** ** challenging *** ********* ********* who ********** ****** * times **** *** ***** controllers / ********:

  • ******** ********: ******* ***** *** priced, ** ****, *******, or ********* ******** *** apparent. ** *** ****, cards ****** **** *** lock ****** ********, **** when ******** *********** **** connected. ***** ******** ********* performance ****** **** ** three ** **** ******* as********* ** ******** *****/********* increased, *** ******** ********** never ****** **********, ****** up, ** ****** ** perform **'* ***** ****** control ********.
  • ******* ***** ********: ** ****** *****'* 'Emergency ********', '***-*** ******', and '***** **** ******' features, *** **** ****** reliably. ***** **** *****, basic ****** ******* **** not *** *****, *** fact **** *** ******** in **** ***-**** ******** for **** ***** ****** charge ********* ***** **** Dahua ** ********* ****** for ****.
  • ***** ******* ********:***** ****** ******** *** photo ** ********* ********** with * ***** ****, so ** ** ******** to ******** ******* ********** holders *** ****** *** ones ***** ****** ****** at * ****** *** not ************ ***********.

Biggest ******** ** ********** *****

*****'* ******* ********** ****** is *** * ****** value, *** * ***** pricing **********. *** ********* differentiation ***** ****** ** low *****. * *** door ********** *** * street **** ** ~$***, a ******** ** *** $500 - $*** **** of ********** ***********. **** means **** ** ********* Dahua ****** ****** *** hit **** ** **** below ***** ****** *** many ********* ****** *********.

*** *******, ***** ** ~70% **** ********* **** Axis ** ***. *** example, *****'* * **** IP ********** ** * price ** ~$*** ****** the **** ***** ** a ***** ** ~$*** and *****'* ***** ****** RFID ****** ** ~$** versus ** *** ***** for ~$***.

*** **** ******* ******** against ********* ****-**** ****** kits, *** ******** *** ********* ******** Access ***********.

Key ****** **********

*******, *** **** ******* and ********** *** ********* to ***** ******:

  • ****, *** **********, ***** Verification: *** **** **** system ******** *********** ** video ***** ********** **** access ******. *******, *** process *** **** **** 30 ******* ** ******* when * **** ** scanned *** ********* '***** out' **** ** ********* video. ***** **** ********** a ******** *********** *** available ** **** ***** free ** ***-**** ****** platforms, *** **** *********** means **** ****** ****** have ****** ** *** time ***** ********.
  • ***** ****** *****, ** PoE: ** ****** ** furnish *** *** ***** transformer, ** **** ** sold **** *** ****. While ** *** ***** supplies *** *** ********* to **** *** ********* at **** **** $**, the **** ***** ******* furnishes ***, *** **** the **** ******* ***, power ******** *** ** extra **** ********** **** to ********. *** **** of *** ******* **** means **** ********** ************** needs ** ** *** to *** ****, * costly *** ***** ********* consideration *** ****** **** PoE ***********.
  • ***** ******** ****: *** ********** ** only ******* *** *****'* free ***** *** ********, and *** ********** ****** be ********* ** ******* through *** ***** ********. This *********** ***** **** Dahua ** ******* *** be **** *** **** of *** **** ******** features, **** ***** ************.
  • ******** ** ********: ***** *** ******* slow **** ********* ******* function **** **** **** than *** ********** ** being ****. **** **** performance ***** *** *** Smart *** ******* *** exceed *** ******** ****** in *** ******, *********** is ******** *** ***** activity ** *** **** is **********, ******** *** monitoring ******** **** ****** or ***** ***** *** take **** **** ** seconds.
  • ** *********: ******* *** ******** - ** ********* *******. Events *** ******, *** they **** ** ******** filtered ** ***** **** fields *** *** *** exportable ** *********. **** access *******, **** **** targeted ** ***** *********** of ***** ********* ******* basic *******.
  • **** ******* ** ***** Readers: ** ******* ******* types ** *******, ********* Dahua's *** ******* ******, and *** *** *** or **.** *** ******. The **** ****** *** connecting **** ** ***** units *** *****, **************, unsupervised *******. **** ******* systems*** ******* ****** ** ****** ** increase ******** ** *** reader ***, *** *****'* platform ******** **.
  • ********* ****** ********: ** *** ****, wiring *** ********** *** confused ** *** **** no ***** '**** #' labels *** *********. ** order ** ********* ***** set ** ***** ******** belong ** **** * and ***** ******* ****** to **** *, **** trial *** ***** *** needed. ****** ********** ***** be ******** ****** ** the **** ** ***** contact ******.

Compatible **** **** ***** ********

*** ******* *********** *** many ** *** ****** down ****** ** ***** Access *********** ** **** work **** ***** ***, which **** ****** ***** the ******** ****** *** market ******* **** ******** but ***** *** *** install *******. *** ****** controller ***** **** ***** PSS, ***** ** **** only ***** **** ***** IP *******, ** ******** equipment ****** ** ********* into *** ***********.

***** *** *********** ** free *** ** ********** software ********* ** ****** to *** ******** **** installed, *** **** ** only ***** **** ***** hardware ** ***** ** turn **** ****.

** ******** ** *** party ***********, ***** ******** with * ********, ***** Mercury ******** ***** **** 20+, *** ***** **** 10+, *** **** **** 8+ ********* *******.

Controlled ****** ***** *** ********** **********

*****'* **** ********** ******** combines **** *****, ******, video ******** ******** ********.

*** **** ********* ******* performance ** *** ******** will **** ****** ** the ***** ** *** parent *********** *** *** many ** *******/***** *** app ** ***********.

*** **** *********** *** exceeded*****'* ******* ******* ***** ** **** CPU ***** (*** **** station *** ** ** CPU ** *****'* ******* i3), ** *** ******* 2GB *** ****, *** several ******* *** ** free *** *****. *******, even **** **** *** connected ** ****** *** two ********* ***********, **** software ********* **** **** and **** ** ******* or ****** ** ********. The ******* ****** ** connected ******* ** ****** at ***, ** *** a ****-**** ****** *** max **** ** ~*,*** doors, *** **** ****** performance ** ****** ** issue **** ****** *** max.

** ***** ** ******* support, ***** *** ******** basic **********, *******, ********** video/access ***** ***********, *** manual **** '******' *** 'lock' ******** ******* ** other ***** ****** *********.

*******, **** ******** *** missing, **** ** ** ID ***** ********, *********** reports, *** ** **** multisite ** *****-******** **********.

Access ********** ******** ********

** ***** ** ****** construction, *** ***** ***** illustrates *** **** *** build ******* ** *** controller.
*** ********** ** ******** for *** **** ** wall ********, *** ***** an ********* **** **** other *******, *** ********* device ****** ** ******* if ******* ******* ** an ********** ********* *** included.

Teardown ****

****** *** **********'* *******, a ******** ***** *********** CR-2032 ***** *******, **** of ******, *** ******* 'TI' (***** **********) ****-** chips *** *******. (****** ******* ****):

No *** ********* *** *********** ***********

****** ********* **** * Dahua ******* ****** '*********', which **** ** **** as *** ****** ********** does *** ******* * webserver ** *****, ****** most ***** **** ***********.

*** ********* **** ** similar ** ***** **** on ***** ** *******. Once * ****** ** permanent ** ** ********, the *********** ** ** longer **** ** *********:

**** *********, ******* *** searched **** ****** ***** PSS, *** ***** *** use ******* ********** ********* or ************:

*** ******* ** ******* to ****** *****'* ** cameras, *** ****** ***** access ********* **** *** require ******** ***** ** be ***** ****** *** system ****** ****** *****, or ***** ****** ******* takes ***** *** *** controllers.*** ***** ***** ************ the ******* ** ******* detail:

Door ********** ****-**-**** **********

*** *** ********* ***** employs ** ********** ****** is *** ********** ******** direct *** **** ******** typically **** ** ********** environments. ******** ** * rail ******* ***** ***** in * ***** ***** enclosure, ** *** ********** itself ** *** ******* sealed *** *** ******* wired ***********.

**** * **** ***********, the ********** ****** ** rather ******. *** ***** two-door *** ****-**** ****** share ** ********* *******, but *** ******* ********* is ****** *** ***** more ***** **** ***** similar ***/*** **** ***********, as ***** ** **** image:

*** ***** **** ** the ********** **** ****** be **** ****** ** mounted ** * ******** enclosure ***, *** *** DIN ************* **** *** likely ** ****** *** the ******** ** *********** choosing ** **** ** enclosure ***** *******.

Vague ********** **** ******

*** ********** *** **** to ******* ** ****** control, *****'* ********** ****** ports *** *** ******* with ******* ****. *** example, ******* ***** ********* group ******* ** **** Reader #* ** ******* from *** ******* ********. In ********, ***** '*****-*******' brands ********** **** ********** benefit **** ****** **** color-coded ********* *****, ** that ******* ***** ** wire ********* ********** ** more ****** **********.

** *** ***** *****, contrast ** ***** ********, appearance, *** ******** ** compared ****** ********** ** **** ****** and ****** ** **** for '**********' ****** ********** than *** ***** ****.

Dahua's **** ********** *********

******* ***** *****'* ****** interface ** ** ********** with ***** ***** ****** platforms, ********* ******** **** pushed ****** ******, ****** access ********, *** **** controller *** **** ********** features ********.** *** ****, *** features ********** *********, *** not ******* ** ******** trouble ****** **** *****.*** ***** ***** ***** off *** ***** ********* and ******** ** ***** PSS's ********** *********:

*** ******* ** ****** cardholders *** ************ ****** is ******* ** **** access *********, *** ****** free ******** ****** *********, features **** ********* ** pictures *** ********:

*** ***** ***** ******** cardholder *** **** ******* creation ** *****:

********** ***** ************ ********, But ********** ******

*** '*****' *********** ****** Smart *** ** *** combination ** ***** ** cameras ** ******** *****. However, *********** ** *** feature ** ****, *** the ****** ** **** needed ** ******* ***** will ** ****** **** the ****** ***** ** the ******** ** *****. In *** **** **** one ********* **** ******, performance ** ******** ** video ******* **** ****** 40 ******* *** ********* timed *** **** ******* more **** * ***** window, ******* *** ******* will ******** **** **** access ****** **** **** take * *** ******* to ****** ** ********.

*** ********* ***** ***** an ******* ** *** 'popup' ****** ******* ***** happens ****** * ******, and **** ******* *** 'searching *****' ******* **** displays ***** *********** *** being ****:

*** ***** ***** ***** the **** ******* **** cameras *******:

******** *** *********** ******* doors *** ******* ** straightforward ** ** '*****', and ******* ***** **** video ******* ** *** every *****, ** **** on ******** ******** ****** like ****** **** ** invalid *********** ***** ****:

*** ***** ****** ************* Is *****

** *** ***** *****, we **** ** ******** readers ********* ***** ******* 13.56 ***, *******, *** Fingerprint ******. ** **** tested *** ********** ****** using ******* ***********, *** found *** ********** ******* supported ***** **** ***** units.

*** ******* ******** **** Dahua's ****** ******* **** ****, ***** ****** **** a ***** *********** ****** of ******** ****** *************.** **** ********* ******** and ********** ** *****'* companion ~$*** *********** ****** and ***** *********** ** par **** ***** *********** fingerprint *****. *** **** detailed ****** ** **** vs **** ** *** device ** ********* ** a ******** ******.

******** *** **** *********

*** ****** **** ****** poorly *** *** ******* to ***** *** ***** or ****** ******** *******. Aside **** *********** ******** on *****/ **** *******/ and *****, ** ***** specific ** ****** ******** are *********.********, **** *** ***** searches *** ****, ******** them ** ********* **** from ****** *** *********** is *** *********, *** outside ***** ** ********* are ******.** ******** **** ** the ***** *****:

***** ***** *** **** access ********* ******* ********* to .*** ** .*** files, ** ******* *** formatted *** ***** ******** in ******** *******. ***** access **** *** ***** any ** *****.

****** ***** ************* ******** Not *********** *****

*** ****** ** *****'* performance ** ******** *** how '****' *** ******* are ** ********, *** how ********** **** *** to******* ****** ***** ********.

** *** * **** scan, *** ***** *** controller **** * ***** common ******* ****, *****, for **** ******* *** outbound *********. *** ****** itself *** ** *********, and ***** ******* *** IP *******, *** ****** configuration *** ********** ****** in ********.** *** *** *********'* ****** ******** ********** *** ******.

******* ****** ************* *** management ***** ***** **********, the ******* ****** *************** with ***** **** *** IP ******* **** *** apparent. ** ********, ****** sniffing ******* ******* ****** data *** ** '**** text' *** ** ******** against ******* **** ********:

******, *** ********** **** default ********* *** ********* during *******, *** ****** specific ********* ** **** to ******** ****, *** platform ******** ** ******* or ******* ******* ****.

*** ****** ** *** unit's ******** *** *********** and *** *** ******* formal *********** ******* ** sophisticated *********** ** ****** security, *** ***** *** vulnerabilities ** ***** *******, no ********** ** ******** or ****** ****** ****** be ********.

Comments (22)

******* ** ******* ********* * ***. *******>

******* **** **** **** ******

** ********,

** *** ******* ** **** ******* **** ****** ******* ** 11 *****. ** ***** ***** *** * * * **** controllers **** **** ****.

*** ******* ** ******** **.** ********* ***** ** ******* ***** CVI *** ** ******* (**** *** ** ** ** **********, including *****, *** *** *******).

* ****** ** ******* **** *** ******* *** ** **** running *****.

******** ** ***** ** * ******** **** ******* * ******* 11 ** *** **** ********* ******* ** ***** ******, ******* 2 ******* ****** ******* *** ******* * *** ** *-***.

*** *** ***** *** ** * ********* *******, *** ****** with *** **** ** *** *******.

** *** *** ********** ** *** ***** *** ******* **** for **** ************* *******.

*** *** ***** ** *** ****** * ********* *****. ***** all ** *** **** ** ** *** **** *** **** features ** **** **** ********* ********.

*** ** ***** ** * **** ** **** ******* **** so *** ** **** *** ****** *** **** **** *********** on ******** *** **** ** **** ** ***** *** ****** pop ** ** ***** *-****. ** ***** ********** ***** ** delay!!

**** *** ******** **** ** *** ******* **** ***** ********** is **** ********. ******* ************ ** ***** *** *****.

* **** ** **** *** *** ****** ******* ** **** than **** ****** ** *****, *** *** *** ***** * guess ** **** ****.

*.*. *

*** *** *** ****** *** ******** **** ** **** ** ONVIF *******. ******** ** **** *** ** ********** ** ** "locked" ** *****.

****'* ******* ********, ******!

** ****** *** ** ******* **** ** ********* ** *** devices *** **** *** ****** ******* ** ***** *** (**.**.* 07/24/2017) *** ** *******. *** *** ***** *** ****?

** *****,

** *** ******* ** ****** *** *** *** ********* **** we *** *** ********** **** *** ******** ***.*************.*** *******.

******** ** *** **.**.* **/**/****

**** ***** **** *** ***** **** *** *** **********? ** it ** ***** **, *** ***** *** ** ******** *** splitter. *** *** ********* *** $* ** ******. **** ** how ** ****** *** ***.

* ** ** ******** *** *** ********* ** ******** **** was ******* ** *** **** ******** **** *** **** ****** performance?

**** *** ****** **** **** ***** ******* *** ** ****. Does *** ****** **** ** ** ********* ** ***** *** directly ** **** ** *** **** **** *** ****** ***********? Dahua ***'* **** **** ******* ******* ** ****** * ** missing *********, ****** *** ****** ******* **** ***** **** ***** cameras *** ** *****?

*** ******* ***** ** ***** *** * *** ************ **** me **** *********. ** *** *** ** ****** ******* *** we ********* *** ***** ******** * *** ***** ***. *** key ******* *** *** ******* ** ****** * **** ****. This *** *** * *** **** *** ***** *** ********* a **** **** ********, ********* *** ****** ** *** *** system *** ***. ********** ******* **** *** **.

*** ***** * ****'* *** ** **** **** ** ****** levels **** ********* *** *** ******** ***** *** ******* **?

** ***** **** ** ***** ** * ***** ***** ***** product *** **** ***** ***** ***** ***** ** **** *** items *** **** ******** ***** ******* ****.

****** *** *** *******.

****** *** ****, ******* **** *** ******* ** *** *******, aside **** *** ***** ***** ****** ******* ********.

*********** *** *** ****** **% ** ********* **** ***** *** exited.

**** **** ****, ***** *** **** **** **** ***** ****, up ** '**** ********' ***** ** ***** ** *** *****, but ********* ** **** *** ******. *'** ******* ** ******** it ** '** *******' ** *** ******.

**** ***** ***** ** **** ******* **** **** **** **** and *** ***** ****** ****. ** ******* ***** * ****** the ***** *** **** *** *** ****** ** * ***** resize **** **** *** ****** *** **** **** ********* ** the **** ****.

**** ******* ** ** ****** ** * **** *** *** CPU ***** ** **-**%. * *** *** ******** *** ***** number.

***** ***** * ***** ** ****** **********. *** ***** ***** it ***** ** ******** *** ******* ** *** ******** *** events ** *** **** ****.

* **** * *** ******** ********* ******* ***** ******** ** Smart *** **** **** * ********, *** * ******** ******* and **** *** ****...

***** **** ** *** ***** **** *** ***** ****? ******** windows ****? *** *** ***** ********* **** **** *******?

*** ***** ***** ** ***** ** ******** *** ******* ** run ******** *** ****** ** *** **** ****.

* *****, *** ***** **** *** ******** ******* *** ******** in **** ***.

* *** *** ********** ****, *** * **** **** *** PSS *******. ****** *** ** ** ******** ** **** ******** tabs, *** **** *** ** *****. * *** *** *** software **** '**** ****' *** '******' ******* ****** ** *** same **** ****** *** **** *****, *** **** *** **** was ****** ** ***.

*** ** ***:

* **** ******* **** **** ** ***********:

*** ** ************* *** *********** ******** ** **** *******, *** RAM ** ***** *****. * **** *** *** ***** ****** and *** ***** ********** *********, ***** ***, *** *** ******* session **** *** ****.

*** ** *** *** ** ** *** **** ******* *** far ******* *** **, * ** *** ******** ***** *** needs********* ** *** ******. * ** ***** *** **, ***** *** **** ** good ** **:

** *** ***** ** **** *********** *********** ** **** ***********, it ***** ** ****** ** ********* *****, *** ** **** performed ******** ***** ***** **** ******* **** ******* ********* *** not **** ******* ******.

***** ***** *** ******* ************:

********** ***** ************ ********, *** ********** ******

*** *** **** ******** ** *** ** ** *** ********** or ********** ********? ** ***** *****, ***** *** ******** ***** contain *** *****, ** *** *** ***** ***** *** ******** video ** ** *******?

*** **** ***** *** *** *** ***** ** *** ******** overview ***** ****** ****** *********/********* ** **. * **** **** chest ******** ***** ******** *** *****.

** * *** **** ***?

**** *** **. *'* *** ********* ** *********!

#*, ****'* ** **** ***** / ******** ********** *** *** seeing. ****** **** *** *****.

* **** ** *** **********. ***** * *** ** **** point *** ********* *** ******* ******* *** ***** * ** watching.

** *******!

** ********* **** **** *****.

********** ***** *** ********** ******** **** **** ****** ******** ****** in *** **** *******...

***'* ******** ** *** ** *** ****** ******.

**** **** * ********** ********* ** ********* (********) *** *** cost ** **** **** ****** ** *** *** **** *******.

*** ********* ******* **** *** **** * ***/** ******* ******* and ****** **********.

*** *** **** * ***.

**** ** ***********. *** *** ********* *** ********* *** ***** supply/battery ******* ** ***** ***** *** **** ** *** ********** less ***** *****.

*** ** ******** ** ********** ******** *********:

"********** ***** ************ ********, *** ********** ******

*** '*****' *********** ****** ***** *** ** *** *********** ** Dahua ** ******* ** ******** *****. *******, *********** ** *** feature ** ****, *** *** ****** ** **** ****** ** connect ***** **** ** ****** **** *** ****** ***** ** the ******** ** *****. ** *** **** **** *** ********* test ******, *********** ** ******** ** ***** ******* **** ****** 40 ******* *** ********* ***** *** **** ******* **** **** a ***** ******, ******* *** ******* **** ******** **** **** access ****** **** **** **** * *** ******* ** ****** in ********."

** ** ******** ******* *** ******** ***** ********** **** *** event. **** ** *** ** ******** ******* *** *****? * can ********** *** **** *********** ********* ****, *** ***** **** for *** *****, ** ** ** **** ** ******** ****** events **** ****** **** *** **** **** ******, ** ***** still ** ********** *** ******* ************ ** *********.

*****, ********* *** ******* **** ******* ****.

***** ***** *** ******** ** ****, ** ******* **** ** playback ***** *** ***** ***** ********* *** ******** ********* ****** live.

**** *** ****, ******** ************/******** ***** ***** **** *** ** the *******.

*****,

******* ***********!, ****** **** ********* ***** ***** ********** *** *********...

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