Security Experts:

Researcher to Demonstrate Hollywood Style Attack at BlackHat

Craig Heffner, a vulnerability researcher for Tactical Network Solutions in Columbia, MD, is returning to Black Hat this summer with a presentation that will include a proof-of-concept attack against network surveillance cameras that is usually reserved for the movies.

In a talk titled Exploiting Network Surveillance Cameras Like a Hollywood Hacker, Heffner will describe zero-day vulnerabilities in consumer as well as enterprise network surveillance gear that can be remotely exploited.

According to his talk summation, Heffner is going to discuss the issues he’s discovered in “...cameras manufactured by D-Link, Trendnet, Cisco, IQInvision, Alinking and 3SVision.”

The talk promises to be interesting due to the fact – aptly noted in the talk’s outline – that these cameras are used the world over, including highly secured areas. Likewise, they’re also used in casinos (including where Black Hat is being held), banks, prisons, and corporate offices.

“It's a significant threat,” Heffner told Reuters in an interview.

“Somebody could potentially access a camera and view it. Or they could also use it as a pivot point, an initial foothold, to get into the network and start attacking internal systems.”

In addition to the talk itself (the contents of which will not be disclosed to the vendors prior to the presentation), Heffner plans to demonstrate a live proof-of-concept attack that shows how a “remote attacker can leverage the described vulnerabilities to freeze and modify legitimate video streams from these cameras, in true Hollywood fashion.”

As mentioned, this isn’t the first time Heffner has come to Black Hat with something interesting.

In 2010, he gave the talk titled How to Hack Millions of Routers, which explored the security problems embedded within home networking equipment offered by Linksys, Dell, and Verizon.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.