How Secure Is Your Video?

Dec 7, 2012

The spirit and intent of this common question are correct, but with the complexities of IP video and the variations of how vendors deploy and store video, the question is really answered by asking three other ones:

• How secure is your network?
• How are you recording your video and in what format?
• How secure is your vendor’s video system?

How secure is your network?

If we look at this from an ethical hacking standpoint, everything truly hinges on the first question of network security. Penetration testing is accomplished in three phases: Network enumeration, vulnerability analysis, and exploitation. These different phases mean I have to find your network, find a weakness based on an operating system or application, and then exploit that weakness to gain control of a machine in your system.

Finding you can be accomplished by doing a WHOIS search on the Internet or by using a program like Sam Spade. Once I have found an IP address or addresses for your network, I can start to construct a picture of your network layout by attempting to perform a DNS zone transfer as well as using tools like ping and traceroute. These tools will help establish landmarks and routes inside your network—such as servers, routers, firewalls, and gateways.

Vulnerability analysis will allow me to gather information needed to gain access to one of your servers in your demilitarized zone. I start by indentifying the operating system on any servers I find by using a tool called Nmap which analyzes a target machine’s TCP stack when responding to packets. Once I know the operating system, I can begin making a list of possible weaknesses I want to exploit.

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