Pelco Fixes Hard Coded Credential Vulnerability

By: Brian Karas, Published on Jul 19, 2016

One dirty secret in the industry is that many devices have unpublished manufacturer admin accounts.  While useful to support techs, these accounts can pose huge security risks, and open systems up to abuse.

Pelco recently disclosed that their Digital Sentry product line had a hard-coded secret admin account, which they removed in their latest firmware.

We received information from Pelco about this vulnerability, what other platforms are affected, and provide details in this report.

*** ***** ****** ** *** industry ** **** **** devices **** *********** ************ admin ********.  ***** ****** to ******* *****, ***** accounts *** **** **** security *****, *** **** systems ** ** *****.

***** ******** ********* **** their ******* ****** ******* line *** * ****-***** secret ***** *******, ***** they ******* ** ***** latest ********.

** ******** *********** **** Pelco ***** **** *************, what ***** ********* *** affected, *** ******* ******* in **** ******.

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

Vulnerability *******

**** ******** ********* *** ************* ** a ****-***** ***** ***** account *** ***** *** following ** ******** ** the ********** ** ********** this *************:

"** ******** **** * low ***** ***** ** able ** ******* **** vulnerability."

*** ***** *** ******** with ** ******** ******* 7.13.84, *** *** ******* recommendation **** ***** ** for ***** ** ******* version *.**, ***** ** obtained **** *** ******* ****** ******* ****.

********* ** *** ********, Schneider ********* *** ********* of **** ******* ** their ***, ** **** not ****** ** **** been ************* ********** ** exploited (***).

Pelco's ********

***** **** **** **** ******* vulnerability *** ******* ** order ********* ******** *** **** more ********* ****** *** their ********** *********. ***** confirmed *** *****-***** ******* ***** be **** ******** *** allowed **** ****** ** affected *****.

*****'* ***** ******* ***, ********** *** **** ** *** have * ******* ****-***** account.

Hard ***** ******** *** *******

************ ******* ********* ***** like ** *** ****** access ** * ****** for ***************, ******* ** working ******* *** ******* means ********* ** *** end-user ** ********** ****.  Hard-coded *****-***** ******** ******* these ******* ***** * consistent *** ** *** into *** ** ** the ****** *** **** around ********, ** ******* admin ********* **** ***** a ********* ***** ********.

*** ******* ** ********* fiascos **** "*****'* *********** **** ****** and **** * ****** button" *******, ** ******* live ********* *** ***** on * ******, **** these ******** ****** ******** to ******* ***** **** want ** ***** ******* quickly *** ***********.  ***** manufacturer ******* **** ****** has * ***** ***** how **** **** * hard-coded ***** ******* ** resolve ** ***** *******, or ****** **** *** one **** **** *******.

Impossible ** **** ******

***** ****-***** ******** *** valuable ** ******* *****, **** time ********* ** ***** accounts ***** ***, ****** in *** **** ** the **** ***********, ** just ********* **** **** an ******* ***** ******. As ***** **** **** job ** ***, **** take **** ******** ********* with ****, ********** *** chances ** ** *** day **** ** ******* a ********'* ******.

Can ***** ******* ***** ** ********** *********

********** ********* ***** **** issues **** ****-***** "******" accounts, *** *** **** reason.  ***** ******** *** enable ****** ***** ****** to * ******, **** times ** * ****** that ***** *** **** up ** ******** ****, allowing ****** *** ***** the ******* *********** ** possible **** ***** ** sensitive *****, ** *** the *********** ****** ** a ********* **** ** the *******.  

****** ********** ********* **** often ******* **** ******* either ******** **** ******* of ***** ********, ** require ******* ** ******* a ***** **** ** such ****-***** ******** ***** in *** ********.  ** suspect **** ** **** may **** *** ** Pelco ******** * ****-***** account **** ****** ******* in *** ******* *** several *****. 

Practical Alternatives ** **** ***** ********

***** *** **** ****** ways ** **** ***** *****-***-**** access than ********** *** **** fixed *********** ** **** of ********* ** *****. **** examples:

  • ******* ***** ******* ** a **** ** ******-******** data, **** ** * camera's ****** ******. **** is *** ****** ********* uses, ***** ********* ** admin ******** **** ** tied ** *** ******'* serial ******, *** **** the **** (** *** admin ******** ******* ******* after ***).  ****** *** algorithm *** ******** *** the ***** ******** *** be ****** (** ******** ** ********* in ****), ** *** ******'* serial ****** ** *** remotely ******** **** ******** is ********** ******.
  • ******* *** **** ** enable ****** ******* ****** by ******* ** * software ********, ******* * button ** *** ******, or ******* ******.  **** prevents ******* ***** **** accessing *** **** ******* the ******** ***** ***** and ********** ******** **** access, *** *** *** downside ** ********* *** user ** ****** *** function, ***** *** *** be ******** ** *** user ********* ** ****, or ** *** **** is ****** ***.  *********, pushing * ****** ** action **** ******** ***** at *** ****** *** hinder *************** ** *** device ** ** * remote/unmanned ****.
  • *** ***-****** **************, ***** the ******* **** ***** retrieve **** ***** ** data **** ** ****** management ****** ** *** manufacturer's **.  **** ****** has *** ******* ** being **** ** *** who ********* ****** ** a ***** ****, *** when, ********* ** ***** log ** ***** *****.

Pelco *** ***** - ***** **** ***** ******** *****

**** ***** ************* ********* have ****** ********. *********** and ***-***** ****** *** manufacturers ***** *********, ****** accounts, ***** **** ** access ******* **** *** not ********* ** ******** documentation.

Comments (9)

I am torn between having the Hik/Dahua methods of using an algorithm to unlock a device and forcing users to factory restore a device if the credentials are lost.

It has come in handy to have a "password of the day" to service customer's devices that I didn't have credentials for, but the flip side is that anyone else with the same info could potentially do the same.

At least with a factory default, you would certainly know someone had access to your device when your current credentials no longer work.

I agree with your perspective on this. It's nice to be able to reset a device without having to climb a ladder (or get a bucket truck), but there are inherent weaknesses in that approach.

Personally, I like a method that requires direct physical access to the device (a reset button, but not something you need to disassemble the device to get at).

IMO, the reset should wipe ALL data, not just user accounts, or static IPs. That way, if someone gets access to the unit, but cannot get into it, they are forced to wipe out all identifying information from the unit (this would including wiping an SD-card if so equipped).

Technically though what we are talking about here is something separate from the tech support back-door that Pelco had in place. You, as the integrator or customer, are made aware of admin accounts and the standard method(s) of reset/compromise. But in this case there was an admin-level account that was not disclosed to users, and was consistent across all devices. In this scenario, once you knew the details of the account you could access any unit you had network connectivity to.

Just to clarify, the Dahua admin "password of the day" requires local access to the device. It will not work through any app or webpage.

Same for the 888888 and 666666 accounts. Local access only. Just in case anyone was concerned about those.

666666 account can be used for remote viewing, but it's not an admin account anyways.

I have been working with Dahua products for more than 5 years, and have yet to come across a system that allows for remote access using either 888888 or 666666. As far as I know, those have always been local only accounts.

Either way, if you have a Dahua device that is having this issue, my primary concern is to get the issue resolved. Please PM me the model of the device, and I can get you a firmware update that will address this.

I just checked a few locations and some of the early units (2012-2013 era) still work with the 666666 accounts remotely (via PSS and iDMSS). I also checked a more recent install, an HDCVI DVR, and that one did not work remotely.

I guess the reason we never knew of the change is that we now delete the built in 888888 and 666666 accounts upon initial install, for security purposes. That was not possible with the older units. They could not be removed, so we just made as obscure of a password as the units allowed.

Also, there isn't a PM feature here (ahem, John), so you will have to ask John to send me your info. If you are a Dahua employee, I have another, much more important issue at hand.

(ahem, Jon)

Lol, I've honestly never paid attention to that feature. My B.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

HTTPS / SSL Video Surveillance Usage Statistics on Apr 01, 2019
HTTPS / SSL / TLS usage has become commonplace for websites to improve security and, in particular, to help mitigate attackers reading or modifying...
LifeSafety Power NetLink Vulnerabilities And Problematic Response on May 20, 2019
'Power supplies' are not devices that many think about when considering vulnerabilities but as more and more devices go 'online', the risks for...
Dahua Wiretapping Vulnerability on Aug 02, 2019
IPVM has validated, with testing, and from Dahua, that many Dahua cameras have a wiretapping vulnerability. Even if the camera's audio has been...
Uniview OEM Directory on Sep 11, 2019
This directory lists 20+ companies that OEM products from Uniview, with a graphic and links to company websites below. It does not cover all...
Critical Vulnerability Across 18+ Network Switch Vendors: Cisco, Netgear, More on Aug 26, 2019
Cisco, Netgear and more than a dozen other brands, including small Asian ones, have been found to share the same critical vulnerability, discovered...
Warning: Windows 7 Update Crashing NVRs on Aug 26, 2019
Windows 7 updates are causing VMS servers to fail to boot. After running the update, impacted systems do not boot as normal, instead display this...
ONVIF Exposure To "Devastating DDoS Attacks" Examined on Sep 06, 2019
ZDnet reported "Protocol used by 630,000 devices can be abused for devastating DDoS attacks", citing exposure of ONVIF devices. And after an...
Dahua New Critical Vulnerability 2019 on Sep 23, 2019
Dahua has quietly admitted 5 new vulnerabilities including 1 critical vulnerability with a 9.8 / 10.0 CVSS score and 2 high vulnerabilities (scored...
Remote Access (DDNS vs P2P vs VPN) Usage Statistics 2019 on Oct 25, 2019
Remote access can make systems more usable but also more vulnerable. How are integrators delivring remote access in 2019? How many are using...
"Severely Impacted" Mercury Security 2020 Leap Year Firmware Issue on Jan 17, 2020
One of the largest access controller manufacturers has a big problem: February 29th. Mercury Security, owned by HID, is alerting partners of the...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hazardous & Explosion Proof Access Control Tutorial on Feb 27, 2020
Controlling access to hazardous environments requires equipment meeting specific ratings that certify they will not start fires or will not...
Motorola / Avigilon Drops ISC West on Feb 26, 2020
Motorola Solutions has pulled out of ISC West 2020 effective immediately, because of coronavirus concerns, IPVM has learned. This is done amidst...
Cancel or Not? Industry Split Over ISC West on Feb 26, 2020
The industry is split, polarized, over whether ISC West 2020 should run or be canceled. New IPVM survey results of 400+ respondents show heated...
Coronavirus Hits Sony, Bosch Says Switch on Feb 26, 2020
Sony's fall in video surveillance has been severe over the past decade. Now, they may be done. In this note, we examine Bosch's new...
Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the basics of cameras and features used in 2020. In this report, we...
Favorite Video Analytic Manufacturers 2020 on Feb 25, 2020
Video analytics is now as hot as ever, driven by the excitement of advancing deep learning offers. But what are actually integrator's...
Latest London Police Facial Recognition Suffers Serious Issues on Feb 24, 2020
On February 20, IPVM visited another live face rec deployment by London police, but this time the system was thwarted by technical problems and...
Masks Cause Major Facial Recognition Problems on Feb 24, 2020
Coronavirus is spurring an increase in the use of medical masks, which new IPVM test results show cause major problems for facial recognition...
Every VMS Will Become a VSaaS on Feb 21, 2020
VMS is ending. Soon every VMS will be a VSaaS. Competitive dynamics will be redrawn. What does this mean? VMS Historically...
Video Surveillance 101 Course - Last Chance on Feb 20, 2020
This is the last chance to join IPVM's first Video Surveillance 101 course, designed to help those new to the industry to quickly understand the...