Physical Security’s - Cyber Problem
"Demand for surveillance cameras has grown quickly during the last decade; and is forecast to continue growing in the coming years. It is estimated that 9.9 million professional surveillance cameras were shipped globally in 2006 and that this grew to 106.4 million in 2016. At the same time, the global market for professional video surveillance grew from $6.7 billion to $15.4 billion in 2016. It is forecast to grow to $19.7 billion in 2020 (a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% from 2016 through to 2020)”.
This information provided by IHIS Markit highlights the growing number of network capable security cameras being deployed worldwide. The sheer numbers of ever more sophisticated network cameras have become a target of opportunity for hackers. To further emphasize how easy it is to gain access to cameras online, several groups like Insecam.org and Shodan provide listings by geography, manufacturer and model. These open access cameras can be used to accommodate criminal endeavors, or they can be part of a large-scale network attack.
Mirai is an example of a malware that took advantage of improperly secured IoT devices, by scanning large blocks of the Internet for open communications ports using defaults passwords. In so doing it amassed a botnet army used in large-scale network attack against popular websites. Not to be outdone the same types of ransomware that impact non security platforms, can also wreak havoc for video servers used to guard presidential inaugurations or interrupt fall enrollment at schools.
Many camera manufacturers in collaborations with various government agencies like US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) provide vulnerability threat alerts with appropriate responses. Unfortunately the number of devices, the lack of traditional IT oversight / inter-company collaborations within the same enterprise, even with the appropriate guidelines from a camera manufacture, can fall prey to would be hackers who are actively scanning networks for any openings.