Dahua Manager: Lots of Backdoors Beyond Dahua or Hikvision

By: John Honovich, Published on Mar 29, 2017

A Dahua technical manager has fired back at criticisms of Dahua's backdoor, posting publicly what many at Dahua have privately been saying for the past few weeks that their backdoor is no big deal because lots of companies have backdoors and that Dahua and Hikvision get unfairly criticized for their problems.

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Comments (16)

Interesting, this doesn't even broach the topic of these devices utilizing decade or more utilities (Telnet and FTP) which broadcast usernames and passwords in plain text format.  It's okay, everyone's doing it.

There is big difference between vulnerability and backdoor.

I'll try to make it short;

True vulnerability over a wide range products and firmware versions have always some unexpected anomalies, which is expected, and should therefore not be treated as backdoor, unless there is distinct pattern.

Dahua backdoor lacking all above, except distinct pattern, even with different hashing techniques for more than three times, and besides - it's undocumented.


It's undocumented for us, but for whom is it documented???

Their intended users, would that make sense?

Perhaps I can put this in perspective: China has a well deserved reputation for state sponsored cyber efforts to gather competitive technology advantage or to conduct espionage against Western nations. They are also the majority owner of the world's largest video manufacturer. Phone Home and other potential exploitable means to penetrate video systems worldwide do not seem uncalculated. In a country where the State has express and final say upon manufacturers it just seems prudent to be concerned about vulnerabilities and also what appear to be intentional backdoors.

As to unintentional vulnerabilities to exploit, my iPhone, my Android, my operating systems and my web browsers seem to release security upgrades and patches weekly to speedily address vulnerabilities when discovered. That seems in sharp contrast to the "Everybody has vulnerabilities, don't worry" response. 

In the legal setting ask 'what actions would a reasonable & prudent individual make?'

Good points, and with P2P, these kind of backdoor implementations will then not be needed, since with P2P you practically giving away your credentials and addresses to your devices! and the connection to P2P, your devices initiates and keeps open. For me, it is similar to reverse shell

Do anyone trust them? thats the question.



Side note:
I agree with Dahua Manager, there is backdoors implemented in all products, some are local and some are remote, but they are there for sure.

Example between Vulnerability and Backdoor:
Axis Communications Remote Format String, shows very distinct pattern over wide range of products and firmware versions, but there is to many unexpected anomalies for it could be categorised as backdoor.

I would love to categorise the Axis as backdoor, since in my opinion it would be genius one, but I can't due to the anomalies while exploiting.

However, it is fully possible to use Format String as technique for backdoors, but with this comes also very distinct patterns. 

UE#2 this isn't directed at you but a direct observation based on your comment.  This may be your first post on IPVM and you make have just joined yesterday from what I can tell.

What keeps being missed by people looking to debunk the Hikvision and Dahua vulnerabilities, whether those vulnerabilities are via willful intent or negligence, is the scale of those vulnerabilities.  IPVM emphasizes this in nearly every article.  A simple search of Axis, Hikvision, and Dahua shows the following quantity of easily identified devices primed to probe for exploits.

Those results are not even looking for any OEMs that change the identifiers of product or having someone more competent than I using the search engine.  Axis could make their cameras listed on Shodan.io require no password or user account at all and still present a less viable target than Hik/Dahua.

Metaphorically, if you went hunting for sustenance purposes would you aim for the gigantic deer or the tiny squirrel?  From the perspective of a hacker their return on time investment is much greater targeting the big unprotected target.


Not joined yesterday.

Listen, who care if it's giant as Dahua/Hikvision or Axis, I surely don't.



I was looking for the post made by "Dahua Manager", but it seems to be gone?

I was looking for the post made by "Dahua Manager", but it seems to be gone?

Yes, I believe it has been removed. I do not see it on the LinkedIn thread it was posted in.

Dahua and Hikvision both have a problem with their employees posting on social media. For example, Hikvision Director Mocks Dahua.

In most Chinese IP products there exists a password backdoor, or a means which to recover the password with little effort.

The domestic market products are so keen on low prices, even the existence of a reset button on the device adds to the cost.

So now the simple choice is using a software one. It's common and the security consideration is no relevance.

Only thanks to IPVM to highlight the true picture can we really see how such a poor job has been done on what is meant to be a security product.

A million+ devices having some basic issues is a sad thing to see.


I would not characterize the ability to generate a date based master password (which is what most do these days) as a "backdoor".  To me, a backdoor is a means to obtain access to a device that has not been published as part of the product documentation.  Using a master password will allow you to get into a device, but through the normal means of access.  A backdoor is a way of bypassing the normal routes to access a device and gaining access to it in a non-standard manner (such as the telnet console port).

I totally, 100% agree with you that these products have no business being referred to as "security" devices.

Someone commented to me that the Backdoor issue isn't a problem on the dahau cameras if they are connected to an NVR rather than directly to the internet as the NVR will "handle the security" of a remote connection.

Is this correct? 

The NVR devices suffer of same stuff...

Actually, no. The most recent backdoor/bug/whatever that got patched actually didn't work on most NVRs except the 5xxx series devices. This includes all of the 4xxx (vanilla, 4K, or 4KS2) and the 6xx (intel based, same deal).

Whatever is going on, they don't have a universal code base or true modularity with their APIs and interface protocols.

This was discovered by testing and patching internally and for customers.

In the process though, I have some news about some new NVR firmware features from the latest March release.

Vanilla and 4KS2 4xxx models now can access the web interfaces of individual cameras from inside built in PoE switches! Yay for properly playing catch up, right?

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