Researchers Hack IP Video

Researchers Hack IP Video
Researchers Hack IP Video 

By Kelly Jackson Higgins
Aug 04, 2009 

Researchers put a new spin on an old attack at Defcon last week, 
demonstrating how to execute man-in-the-middle attacks on IP video.

In one attack, researchers from Viper Lab showed how a criminal could 
tamper with an IP video surveillance system to cover up a crime by 
replacing the video with another benign clip. In another demo, they 
eavesdropped on a private IP video call.

IP video -- for videoconferencing, IP TV, video streaming applications, 
and video surveillance -- is gradually catching on in organizations, the 
federal government, and even in professional sports arenas like the 
Dallas Cowboys' new state-of-the-art stadium. But like any IP 
technology, IP video can be vulnerable to attack if it's not properly 
locked down. "These attacks are based on ARP poisoning/man-in-the 
middle. You can do this with email and VoIP -- we're just doing a new 
twist on an old attack to show people that these vulnerabilities are out 
there for IP video," says Jason Ostrom, director of Viper Lab, the 
research arm of Sipera Systems, which sells security products for VoIP 
and unified communications technologies.

Ostrom says only one in 20 organizations secure their IP video 
communications with encryption or other measures, according to Sipera's 
research. He and fellow researcher Arjun Sambamoorthy used homegrown 
open source tools to perform the hacks during their session at Defcon: 
"These tools can show and help people understand the risks and impact" 
of not securing IP video, Ostrom says. "These are vulnerabilities in the 
configuration and deployment of IP video in the network -- not 
vulnerabilities in the video products."

The so-called UCSniff tool performs video eavesdropping, while VideoJak 
intercepts and replays video. "We used UCSniff to record a 'safe' video 
stream, then converted it to an AVI file. Then we used the VideoJak tool 
that also supports man-in-the-middle," he says. VideoJak intercepts the 
video stream, and replaces it with a malicious or phony video payload.


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