The Security Week That Was: May 25, 2007

A Double Shot of Security Espresso

Sometimes security needs a double shot of espresso. Here's what I mean…

About a week or so ago, we ran a story on our site titled Hacking Workshops: From Identity Theft to Video Camera Control. The news was about a partnership between CRYPTOCard and Simple Technology Inc.; the companies are planning hosting workshops in Canada and elsewhere to show what hackers can do with simple tools like a Google search.

Now, those of us at are big fans of the progression to IP-based security technologies. Simply put, network access will mean we can do more and know more via our security systems, whether that's remote access or networked databases that link video footage with access control and intrusion alarm data. So when we heard that this program would show how easy it is to access many of today's networked cameras, our ears pricked up.

Cut to this morning, where I had Jason Hart, CEO of CRYPTOCard Europe, on the phone to actually see one of these "hacks" in action. Jason sent me to some Google searches and before I knew it, we were live watching low frame rate video from a professional network camera mounted on the front of a hotel. We were zooming and panning the camera and could even point it across at another surveillance camera mounted on the facility. The problem, says Hart, is that these cameras come with a default login and that many installers aren't changing these default logins to prevent unauthorized access. That to me is a big wake-up call that any person who is installing these cameras needs to be reminded that basic precautions like firewalls and password protected access should be required.

We'll be publishing a podcast on SIW Radio in the next week or so to go into more depth about this problem. Stay tuned and look for a link to this radio program in about a week.

Across the Pond at IFSEC 2007
Hot technology keeps UK security tradeshow rolling

Peter Harlick, the publisher of Security Dealer, traveled this week to IFSEC 2007 to see the latest in security technology. From new buried sensors for intruder detection (UVSS) to an immersive imaging (360-degrees) camera that can be worn as a backpack and which will provide video to the user via a small screen on a set of glasses (TXi), the technology was, as usual, a full knockout. Harlick's reports (Day 1 – Day 2 – Day 3) are filed on, and his photos are on our blog.

Cisco Expands Its Footprint
From routers to video management platforms

While Harlick was in Europe, Cisco announced a significant acquisition. The company has signed an agreement to acquire BroadWare, which is a California-based company that developed an IP video system that can be managed over a web browser. Cisco's Steve Collen compared it to their earlier acquisition of SyPixx, which he said was more about closed video systems (such at casinos), versus BroadWare, which has enterprise-level and remote-access abilities.

In other news...

Lockheed Martin announced a new biometrics development and testing facility in Whitehall, W.V. They'll be working with other researchers, academia and federal labs to partner on testing of currently available biometric solutions and looking into tomorrow's technology and algorithms. … Testimony in a Canadian court unveiled that a 1985 flight which was downed by terrorists may have been let off the runway despite security flagging suspicious baggage. … Korean scientists have developed a robot for homeowners that can recognized faces, send video clips to your cell phone and be a simplified nanny of sorts for kids coming home from school.

Finally, a look at our most read stories of the week, as defined by you and your peers: