IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Critical flaw in IoT camera system could lead to remote takeover

Network video recorder vulnerability could allow hackers to steal sensitive video recordings

Video IP surveillance

Security researchers have discovered a bug in a network security camera that hackers could exploit to steal sensitive video recordings.

Nozomi Networks researchers said a critical remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability (CVE-2021-32941) in the web service of the Annke N48PBB network video recorder (NVR)  might result in the loss of confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the device itself, as well as the data stored inside it.

They warned various outcomes could potentially include a loss of employee privacy, a loss of confidentiality regarding valuable assets, or a shutdown of the NVR at will.

The NVR contains a web-based dashboard that allows legitimate operators to watch live streams from network cameras and play video content stored on the device. Administrators can also use this control panel to carry out maintenance on connected cameras or set alerts for cameras to detect specific events.

The N48PBB NVR playback functionality allows any user to search stored camera footage. Researchers noted that while fuzzing all possible fields of the HTTP request looking for security vulnerabilities, they noticed that sending a start time with trailing arbitrary characters, such as “AAAAAAAAAA…,” would immediately cause the device to close the connection (without even sending an HTTP response), and initiate a reboot. 

“Later, tests proved that this condition was systematically reproducible: a Denial-of-Service (DoS) vulnerability was found,” said researchers. They added this was a strong hint of an underlying memory corruption issue, which could lead to more severe impacts.

Further investigations found that this memory corruption bug, initially classified as a DoS, is a remote code execution (RCE) flaw with root privileges.

“If exploited, this vulnerability could potentially lead to a full compromise of the device,” said researchers. 

As the search functionality is accessible to all device users by default, the vulnerability could be exploited on unpatched NVRs by malicious operators, or users, to elevate their system privileges. Researchers added the vulnerability could be exploited indirectly by external attackers in “drive-by download” attacks.

“It is sufficient for an administrator, operator, or user to browse a specifically crafted webpage, while simultaneously logged in to the web interface of the device, to potentially cause the execution of external malicious code on the device itself,” said researchers.

Nozomi Networks disclosed the flaw to Annke in July with the firm issuing a fix 11 days later. 

Featured Resources

Accelerating AI modernisation with data infrastructure

Generate business value from your AI initiatives

Free Download

Recommendations for managing AI risks

Integrate your external AI tool findings into your broader security programs

Free Download

Modernise your legacy databases in the cloud

An introduction to cloud databases

Free Download

Powering through to innovation

IT agility drive digital transformation

Free Download

Recommended

Best free malware removal tools 2022
Security

Best free malware removal tools 2022

22 Jun 2022
A guide to cyber security certification and training
Careers & training

A guide to cyber security certification and training

16 Jun 2022
What is shoulder surfing?
social engineering

What is shoulder surfing?

10 Jun 2022
CIAM buyer’s guide
Whitepaper

CIAM buyer’s guide

6 Jun 2022

Most Popular

Actively exploited server backdoor remains undetected in most organisations' networks
cyber attacks

Actively exploited server backdoor remains undetected in most organisations' networks

1 Jul 2022
Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup
data breaches

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup

29 Jun 2022
Why India wants to become a chipmaking powerhouse
components

Why India wants to become a chipmaking powerhouse

28 Jun 2022