US Embassy Ukraine Specifies Hikvision

By John Honovich, Published Feb 12, 2018, 12:36pm EST

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The US Embassy Ukraine specified 40 Hikvision cameras in 2017 despite Hikvision being removed from the US Embassy in Afghanistan in 2016.

This raises significant security concerns, given Hikvision's Chinese government control andHikvision's IP camera backdoor.

In this note, we examine the specifications and the issues involved.

Ukraine 40 Total Hikvision Cameras

Documented on the US Embassy to Ukraine website, February 2017 specification calls for:

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The cameras specified are entry level, 'value series' ~$100 cameras, the DS-2CD2542FWD-IS and DS-2CD2342WD-I-2.8MM, images of the cameras shown below, typically specified in home and small business installs:

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The U.S. Embassy in Kiev was attacked in June 2017 [link no longer available] so the Embassy is certainly a high-security facility.

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Additionally - Guatemala 28 Hikvision Cameras Or Equivalent

Documented on the Guatemala section of the State Department website, the October 2015 specification calls for:

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Hikvision Removed In Afghanistan In 2016

Hikvision cameras were removed in 2016 from the US Embassy in Afghanistan, with the State Department explaining:

A Hikvision camera system was initially installed to monitor non-sensitive electrical closets for theft prevention. The procurement in question was to either expand this or to install a new system. The procurement was cancelled September 2016 and the previously installed cameras were removed.

Congressional Hearings Featuring Hikvision

And, just this month, Hikvision was a subject of US Congressional hearings both over cybersecurity and Chinese government ownership, as the video below shows:

Status of State Department Using Hikision Cameras?

This raises the question of what is the State Department's stance on using Hikvision cameras. To their credit, when the State Department was notified of Hikvision cameras, they did remove them from the Embassy in question. However, the State Department's own records indicate that other surveillance systems are being specified using Hikvision cameras, including by the obvious high-security facility in Ukraine.

Our goal in publishing this is to raise awareness so that State Department officials can prioritize reviewing the security concerns of such specifications.

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