Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

8/4/2009
03:44 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Researchers Hack IP Video

Man-in-the-middle attacks tamper with video surveillance feeds, eavesdrop on IP video phone conversations

Researchers put a new spin on an old attack at Defcon last week, demonstrating how to execute man-in-the-middle attacks on IP video.

In one attack, researchers from Viper Lab showed how a criminal could tamper with an IP video surveillance system to cover up a crime by replacing the video with another benign clip. In another demo, they eavesdropped on a private IP video call.

IP video -- for videoconferencing, IP TV, video streaming applications, and video surveillance -- is gradually catching on in organizations, the federal government, and even in professional sports arenas like the Dallas Cowboys' new state-of-the-art stadium. But like any IP technology, IP video can be vulnerable to attack if it's not properly locked down. "These attacks are based on ARP poisoning/man-in-the middle. You can do this with email and VoIP -- we're just doing a new twist on an old attack to show people that these vulnerabilities are out there for IP video," says Jason Ostrom, director of Viper Lab, the research arm of Sipera Systems, which sells security products for VoIP and unified communications technologies.

Ostrom says only one in 20 organizations secure their IP video communications with encryption or other measures, according to Sipera's research. He and fellow researcher Arjun Sambamoorthy used homegrown open source tools to perform the hacks during their session at Defcon: "These tools can show and help people understand the risks and impact" of not securing IP video, Ostrom says. "These are vulnerabilities in the configuration and deployment of IP video in the network -- not vulnerabilities in the video products."

The so-called UCSniff tool performs video eavesdropping, while VideoJak intercepts and replays video. "We used UCSniff to record a 'safe' video stream, then converted it to an AVI file. Then we used the VideoJak tool that also supports man-in-the-middle," he says. VideoJak intercepts the video stream, and replaces it with a malicious or phony video payload.

So, for instance, a bad guy could replace a surveillance feed of his breaking into the CEO's office with a routine clip trained on the office door, with no sign of the break-in.

To pull off one of these video attacks, Ostrom says an attacker would have to have physical access to the IP network, as well as to a port on the same VLAN as the video application. "Physical security is a huge part of the equation" with these attacks, he says.

In the eavesdropping attack, UCSniff 3.0 intercepted all of the video traffic and allowed the attacker to play back either side of a conversation held on Cisco 7985 Unified IP Phones that weren't configured with security best practices by the user.

Ostrom and Sambamoorthy soon will release the new Windows GUI-based 3.0 versions of the free UCSniff and VideoJak tools that support these types of attacks and let companies test their IP video implementations for security. They also plan to release a new tool they used in the demos called VideoSnarf, which takes a network sniffer file, analyzes it, and converts it to an H.264 video file.

The only way to mitigate these types of attacks, Ostrom says, is to deploy the three basic levels of IP video security: physical security, encryption, and defense against ARP poisoning, which can be configured via many Ethernet switches, he says. "If your IP video is encrypted, an attacker could man-in-the-middle but would not be able to decrypt the RTP [packets]," he says. "The attack would be rendered useless."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2010-3446
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was withdrawn by its CNA. Further investigation showed that it was not a security issue. Notes: none.
CVE-2021-0536
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
In dropFile of WiFiInstaller, there is a way to delete files accessible to CertInstaller due to a confused deputy. This could lead to local escalation of privilege with no additional execution privileges needed. User interaction is not needed for exploitation.Product: AndroidVersions: Android-11Andr...
CVE-2021-0537
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
In onCreate of WiFiInstaller.java, there is a possible way to install a malicious Hotspot 2.0 configuration due to a tapjacking/overlay attack. This could lead to local escalation of privilege with User execution privileges needed. User interaction is needed for exploitation.Product: AndroidVersions...
CVE-2021-0538
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
In onCreate of EmergencyCallbackModeExitDialog.java, there is a possible exit of emergency callback mode due to a tapjacking/overlay attack. This could lead to local escalation of privilege with User execution privileges needed. User interaction is needed for exploitation.Product: AndroidVersions: A...
CVE-2021-0539
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
In archiveStoredConversation of MmsService.java, there is a possible way to archive message conversation without user consent due to a missing permission check. This could lead to local escalation of privilege with no additional execution privileges needed. User interaction is not needed for exploit...