NewsSeptember 28, 2017 @ 10:15 AM

Thermal Security Camera Flaws Could Let Cybercriminals Launch Remote Attacks

Cybercriminals could access the live feed and conduct remote code execution in a thermal security camera if it was made by FLIR Systems, according to new research.

Threat Actors Can Download Camera Info With Ease

Beyond Security’s SecuriTeam blog presented detailed findings by an independent researcher from Zero Science Lab about the thermal security camera vulnerabilities. The flaws included a way for threat actors to download and read FLIR operating system (OS) files using an API associated with the devices, along with hardcoded credentials and the potential for information disclosure. The post indicated that the researcher notified FLIR Systems, which is now conducting its own investigation.

To show just how serious the dangers are, proof of concepts have been developed with code based around the thermal security camera vulnerabilities. SecurityWeek also reported that FLIR devices numbering in the thousands can be discovered online through a common search tool. Cybercriminals might find it relatively easy to take advantage of the flaws as awareness grows.

Thermal Security Camera Flaws Not Limited to FLIR Systems

The irony is that a thermal-imaging camera is supposed to make a physical environment more secure by offering monitoring capabilities, but that shouldn’t come with a trade-off in data security. Unfortunately, the have also been problems with similar products.

Just last month, F-Secure published some research of its own showing a range of vulnerabilities and flaws in IP security cameras from Foscam. The 18 potential threats ranged from undocumented Telnet functionality and cross-site scripting (XSS) and buffer overflow.

Even more recently, Threatpost wrote about aIR-Jumper, which is malware that sends secret messages by taking over the infrared capabilities of closed-circuit TV cameras. Although aIR-Jumper was a proof of concept developed by a group of Israel-based academics, it demonstrated that a thermal security camera isn’t the only device of its kind that could be turned against its owners.

Although it was reportedly informed back in July, FLIR has yet to offer a patch or other fix for the vulnerabilities. Until one is released, organizations using the FC-Series S, FC-Series ID and PT-Series should look at the research to understand the risks they face.

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Shane Schick

Writer & Editor

Shane Schick is a writer, editor and speaker who focuses on how information technology creates business value. He lives in Toronto.