vc1234 said:Well, let's not get too carried away.
What you did "over the IP network" was gaining root access to a Linux system most likely by guessing the root password. After that, if one is careful, one would be able to replace Linux software with a custom one: by scp'ing a tarball for example -- that's nothing special and any Linux sysadm worth his or her salt does that on a daily basis. However, one tiny mistake would have rendered the system inaccessible due to an unavailable network interface, for example or a kernel mismatch or a thousand other different reasons. So, without physical access to the box the likelihood of converting even a wide open Linux system to a network traffic sniffer for example is pretty minuscule.
Any hacker worth his salt can build the appropriate image and drop it in remotely. I do similar functions with automated scripts. And if I build my IoT devices correctly it's not hard. Upgrading Cisco routers from 20 years ago was quite similar though only a dozen different models. I did it all over the world from my home and ran into less than 10 troublesome routers out of a thousand. Later routers had more flash room and better upgrade methods. We did have console access via a modem.
Okay, I think I combined too much with a poor explanation and I don't consider this to be security hysteria. I really think the industry has underestimated the problem.vc1234 said:My point is that a camera as an example of a Linux system is as secure as any other exposed poorly protected Linux box -- there's nothing special about them except that the manufacturer may not have spent enough time and thought on rather trivial security issues like using a more secure password. There's no value in raising security hysteria -- media is already quite good at it. Rather, providing information about what exactly is vulnerable would server a useful purpose indeed.
A VPN in one's router is quite adequate and easy way to protect a home network.
- I did telnet into an insecure camera, vendor transgression #1 but hacking this thing was easy. I've since blocked it so it doesn't go out to the internet for anything.
- I didn't use physical access to hack the device but it was behind a proper firewall so trying to get telnet'ng, ssh'ng, or http'ng to it from the outside won't work (need that vpn to get in).
- The part I explained poorly was that IoT tends to mean that things connect to a command and control cloud service (like these poorly secured camera's). Compromise the cloud service and you can command the cameras. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of this as it's easier to bypass the security of the router.