IP Security Cameras and The DDOS Attack on Dyn

ddos-outage-arcdyn

On October 21st, there was a massive distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on an internet company named Dyn. Dyn controls a large portion of the servers that make up the internet ‘Domain Name System’ or DNS. These servers are essentially the traffic cops that point your web browser to the IP address of websites when you type in a domain in the address bar. If these servers were to be unreachable, as they were on Friday, your web browser wouldn’t know where to go to retrieve that site you just asked it to get for you.

The attackers used a DDOS attack to overwhelm these DNS server with so many requests, that they servers were unable to tell which requests were genuine and which were part of the attack. These hackers were able to pull off something of this magnitude by collecting access to devices that are part of what has come to be known as the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). The IoT includes many devices that consumers may not think of as connected devices. In recent years, refrigerators, thermostats, TVs, and even cameras have all been built with the ability to connect and communicate on the internet. While technology has progressed to allow for better communications between our devices, security has lagged behind and in some cases been left as an afterthought.

One fact that has emerged in the days following the attack is that a large portion of the connected devices used in that attack were IP Security Cameras and recorders. The surveillance devices used in last Friday’s attack were from a specific, low end, Chinese manufacture of cheap equipment that failed to build in the necessary security features needed to prevent hackers from gaining access to these systems. In most cases the vulnerability that was exploited was as simple as a default admin password that the end user was never prompted to reset. Other security holes include that these devices, by default, allow access via lesser know, but powerful avenues, such as SSH and Telnet. If a hacker is able to gain access using these methods, they can tell that device to do whatever they want. In this case it was to flood all their traffic to specific and vital portion of our internet’s infrastructure.

While on face value, this may seem like a minor inconvenience to most every day Americans, but the implications of these types of attacks reach further than you think. An attack of this nature could shut down markets and prevent the trade of stocks, could effect power grids and utilities, could even prevent or disrupt the administration of elections.

Anyone purchasing Arcdyn professional IP surveillance equipment can rest assured that their system has been built with security in mind.

  • Every system automatically prompts the user to enter a default password upon setup.
  • Dangerous connection protocols, like SSH and Telnet, are disabled by default.
  • Frequent firmware updates mean that security holes are patched quickly.

Arcdyn is here to help you ensure that your system is never hacked or used in nefarious ways to attack others.

Contact us today to get a FREE quote.

Wired vs. Wireless IP Security Cameras

Wireless Security Cameras – The Worst Option for Security

When shopping for a security camera system for your home or business, many people seek out a wireless solution.  Wireless cameras can be great for simple applications like monitoring operations in a business or keeping an eye on your home or pets while you are at work, but lack the robustness and reliability that are required for actual security applications.  So while there is a time and place for wireless, security-centered applications should always use a hard-wired system.

Network Reliability

There are many reasons why wireless cameras are deemed unreliable, one important factor is the dependency on your wireless router.  If your router is ever down or needs to be reset (which in some cases can be often), it will cause a lapse in transmission of data from the camera to the hard drive.  This could mean that your camera system is not recording during an important event.

With a hard wired system that utilizes Arcdyn’s plug and play PoE ports, you won’t even need to worry about a power outage. A simple UPS or battery backup device can ensure that your system continues to record even if there is an interruption of power.  Additionally, If your network fails, the recorder continues to record footage as long as your battery backup lasts, so you will still have recorded footage to look back to.

Power Supplies

One aspect of wireless cameras that many customers overlook is power. With wireless cameras, your options for power are limited to battery or running a power cable to a 12v DC power supply like an outlet or solar cell.

However, battery power is another feature that contributes to the unreliable nature of wireless cameras.  Batteries will die, and when they do you may miss important footage.  Any other source of power will involve running a cable to the camera, which kind of defeats the purpose of a wireless camera and usually results in unsightly wires and power bricks plugged into the wall nearby.

Signal “Jamming”

It is possible, and not terribly difficult, to disrupt or “jam” the signal of a wireless network, whether it be Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.  This can be done from a computer or smartphone and the knowledge to do so can be found easily online. A simple google search will result in a multitude of guides and videos showing how to do this. In addition jamming devices can be purchased on Amazon for under $60.  This is another obvious reason that we recommend staying away from wireless cameras.

Insufficient Local Network Speeds

Transmission of standard high definition video (1080p @ 30fps) over Wi-Fi will use at least 4Mbps of your local bandwidth per camera. Unless you provide the wireless cameras with their very own network you will be introducing unneeded network traffic to your local wi-fi. Not only is the extra traffic unnecessary but it will also be  exposing your security cameras to anyone who has access to your home network. 

With Arcdyn IP/PoE system, you can be sure that your cameras are secured and not vulnerable to malicious attacks. The cameras are on their own private network that is inaccessible to local network clients. This helps your security, but  also keeps unwanted traffic off of your local network so your home or business can stay connected.