In recent months, there has been a multitude of cyber attacks targeting video surveillance systems and the Internet of Things (IoT). In the aftermath of the Mirai botnet attack, an incredibly powerful distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, some of the largest surveillance manufacturers scrambled to address the extreme vulnerabilities built into their devices.
During the October 2016 attack, Mirai – an open-source malware strain that scans the Internet for routers, cameras, DVRs and IoT devices only protected by default passwords – used its army of infected devices to disrupt dozens of major websites including Dyn, one of the largest DNS service providers, by flooding the target servers with millions of discrete IP addresses sending junk traffic to block the flow of legitimate users.
While DDoS attacks like Mirai, designed to cripple websites by consuming all of their bandwidth, target vulnerable devices across the world indiscriminately, several highly sensitive markets experienced the largest percentage of cyber attacks each year: healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, government and transportation.
The expansion of the IoT has only compounded the problem by providing hackers with almost unlimited resources for carrying out their attacks. As more devices connect to a single network, the total system security is only as strong as the most vulnerable connected device. So, how can security professionals protect their system against these attacks?
Gaining access to your security system
Similar to any sensitive data, video surveillance represents an untapped pool of information. Consider the key users of surveillance and the data being stored – defence departments, embassies, hospitals, police departments, etc.. Beyond capturing metadata by hacking into a video network, hackers will be able to view the camera footage, connect the infected device to a botnet, or even convert the device into a bitcoin mine undetected.
A single data breach cost businesses $4 million on average in 2016 according to the Ponemon Institute, with the costliest attacks coming from malicious code and denial of service. The role surveillance networks play in these attacks comes from the relatively low-security, commonly factory default passwords. IP cameras, DVRs and NVRs have to combat the malicious code needed to connect the device to a botnet. Once a surveillance device has been infected, it becomes a tool used to take down target servers.
After the latest wave of high-profile cyber attacks, updating default passwords on connected devices has taken first priority when securing a system. Security integrators and manufacturers are quickly adapting to the ever-changing cyber landscape. Proactive protection against cyber attacks is being implemented on many new, high-performance video servers.
To protect video surveillance systems from hackers, BCDVideo developed SMARTdeflect. It is an innovative two-factor authentication application designed specifically for BCDVideo access control and video recording servers. The login process includes a self-generating PIN randomly reassigned every 30 seconds.
Within the app, system administrators will enjoy several crucial features to remotely safeguard against any threat. These include optional pre-configuration for email and SMTP servers, an easy set-up process, plus two-factor authentication (a secondary PIN using a QR code or an optional opt-out static PIN). The app, which is iOS, Android and Windows compatible, supports an optional mandatory restart for user login beyond set number of failed login attempts per user, and can remotely disable the server when the operator already has access. Other features include administrator-specified PINs for users and an interface for administrators to adjust basic settings.
System administrators will be able to monitor all logins with optional email notifications for every successful or unsuccessful login attempt. Because SMARTdeflect can be accessed on any smartphone, administrators also have the ability to temporarily disable all outside access to a server under attack. Additionally, the easy set-up and customisable system settings give administrators complete control over their servers.
With cybercrime on the rise, providing simple, reliable security with BCDVideo SMARTdeflect on all BCDVideo access control and video recording servers gives security integrators and end users another measure of proactive defence against cyber-attacks.