HID: Stop Selling Cracked 125 kHz Credentials

Author: IPVM Team, Published on Nov 05, 2018

HID should stop selling cracked 125 kHz access control credentials, that have been long cracked and can easily be copied by cheap cloners sold on eBay and Amazon.

To its credit, HID has long acknowledged the vulnerability and does take steps to warn customers of the risks, as HID has explained to IPVM inside this post.

Vulnerable / Cannot Be Fixed

However, since these products are vulnerable and cannot be 'fixed', they should not be sold at all. If HID or Axis or any responsible manufacturer found a vulnerability in their firmware, they would stop selling such products until they fixed it. Since the 125 kHz vulnerability cannot be fixed via firmware or software upgrade, they should be discontinued. The video below demonstrates exploiting the vulnerability:

Transition Time

Reasonably, HID can set a period of time in the near future where they will stop manufacturing such that existing users can transition their hardware and/or credentials as appropriate.

Facilitating an EOL deadline would not exclude HID from upgrades, as HID already has 'migration hardware' available with Multiclass readers supporting an immediate reader upgrade and slower/budgeted/planned credential migration.

Using those intermediate readers is a primary method HID itself suggests for transitioning, one of the three solutions we detail in our Cracked 125kHz Access Control Migration Guide.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

HID Largest Provider

We are calling on HID because they are the largest credentials provider and the only ones, short of government, capable of making a major market impact.

Moreover, HID could even use this as a differentiator against their smaller competitors to position themselves further as the 'market leader' who takes a strong stand in favor of 'security' at the expense of easy profits from selling vulnerability access control credentials. Notably, if HID did this, it would put pressure on rivals still selling these cracked credentials who would be viewed as still profiting from such insecurity.

Acknowledges Vulnerability

To their credit, HID acknowledges vulnerability, including a statement they provided to IPVM in response to our inquiry about discontinuing 125 kHz cards:

Moreover, HID emphasized in follow-up remarks that:

Our field teams disclose these known vulnerabilities in virtually every 1-on-1 customer (channel partner, consultant, or end customer) meeting regarding readers/credentials. These conversations are always followed by discussion of steps to mitigate the vulnerability through credential migration.

Most of our field team members have cloning devices for demonstration of attack methods.
We typically bring common cloning devices to tradeshows (e.g. GSX) where we conduct demonstrations during customer meetings in HID booth.

Despite this, HID says ~40% of the market is still using these cracked credentials and that, given that they would prefer they buy it from HID, a 'trusted partner':

as 125 kHz represents approximately 40% of the global physical access control credential market. Until there is a more substantial market shift away from the technology, we prefer that customers source it from a trusted partner.

No Warnings on HID Product Documentation

While HID has marketing materials warning of the vulnerabilities, they do not do so on their 125 kHz product documentation. The product pages and datasheets make no mention of any vulnerability nor defect. Indeed, HID markets their 'value' and how 'cost-effective' they are:

Indeed, the ProxCard II datasheet markets these cards 'security':

This is, at best, highly misleading since the issue is not the number of codes, it is that regardless of the specific code used, it can be read and copied using a cheap cloner.

The direct product documentation is quite important since specifiers and buyers often review or cite those documents when purchasing. Minimally, by including the vulnerability warning there, it would make it clearer what the risks are being exposed.

Conclusion

HID, by its own remarks, has placed itself in the rather remarkable position of selling against a vulnerable / defective product while simultaneously selling that defective product.

Surely, HID wants to be a 'trusted partner', as they say, and discontinuing cracked 125 kHz credentials would increase that trust while driving scores of users away from these credentials.

Vote / Poll

Comments (26) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Retired Mercury President Returns As Open Options President on Mar 18, 2019
Open Options experienced major changes in 2018, including being acquired by ACRE and losing its President and General Manager, John Berman who...
Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...
Hikvision Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 18, 2019
Hikvision favorability results declined significantly in IPVM's 2019 study of 200+ integrators. While in 2017 Hikvision's favorability was...
Installation Course - Last Chance on Mar 14, 2019
This is the last chance to register for the March Installation course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
Camera Pendant Mounting Guide on Mar 07, 2019
It is often necessary to suspend a camera from a high open ceiling. This is commonplace in retail, warehouse, industrial sites, hangars, and other...
Start Up Safe Zone $150 Gunfire Detector Profile on Mar 06, 2019
While gunfire detectors have been around for years, typically they are limited to enterprise level or municipal deployments. Startup AVidea, makers...
Cable Firestopping Installation Guide on Mar 06, 2019
Installing cables through firewalls is a critical installation issue. Failing to properly seal a penetration can cause smoke and fire to spread,...
Top ISC West 2019 Booth Moves on Mar 05, 2019
With ISC West just a month away, we examine the most notable exhibitor moves including big exhibitors who dropped out and a number of significant...
Prysm PSIM Profile on Mar 05, 2019
A decade ago, PSIM promised significant potential but has always suffered from significant problems. Now, a number of PSIMs have either gone out of...
Genetec Declares "Lead With Synergis" Access Control on Mar 04, 2019
Genetec started with and is best known for its video management software. However, the company is now imploring its partners to lead with Synergis,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Avigilon Launches 'Renewed Products Program' on Mar 19, 2019
There are lots of 'pre-owned' cars but pre-owned IP cameras? While such programs are common in other industries, in video surveillance, they are...
Hanwha Tax Evasion Probe, Camera Division Implicated on Mar 19, 2019
A Hanwha group subsidiary was raided as part of a tax evasion probe. While a Korean news media report listed the raided entity as 'Hanwha...
Genetec Security Center 5.8 Tested on Mar 19, 2019
Genetec has released Version 5.8. This comes after a wait of more than a year that caused frustrations for many Genetec partners. Our previous...
Retired Mercury President Returns As Open Options President on Mar 18, 2019
Open Options experienced major changes in 2018, including being acquired by ACRE and losing its President and General Manager, John Berman who...
Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...
Hikvision Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 18, 2019
Hikvision favorability results declined significantly in IPVM's 2019 study of 200+ integrators. While in 2017 Hikvision's favorability was...
ONVIF Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 15, 2019
In the past decade, ONVIF has grown from a reaction to the outside Cisco-lead PSIA challenge, to being the de facto video surveillance standard...
Installation Course - Last Chance on Mar 14, 2019
This is the last chance to register for the March Installation course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
City Physical Security Manager Interview on Mar 14, 2019
This physical security pro is the Physical Security Manager for the City of Calgary. He is a criminologist by training with an ASIS CPP credential....
US Drafting Separate Rule for NDAA Dahua/Hikvision 'Blacklist' on Mar 14, 2019
The most debated provision of the NDAA ban of Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei, et al. is the so-called 'blacklist' provision which would ban any company...

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