Building A “Hack-Proofed” Access Control and Surveillance System with CheckVideo

Part 1

CheckVideo, a manufacturer of a full range of high-end video surveillance and access control gear, as well as servers, gateways, and cloud-based software solutions, is a partner with which Security Technology of South Texas is an authorized dealer. Let’s take a look into what makes a CheckVideo system different, and all said and done, a superior product to what you will find “off-the-shelf” or in a retail environment.

Although almost by definition, no system, digital or otherwise will prove 100% “hack-proof”, there are several measures that can be taken to protect your data security and make your property seem like too much trouble to bother with to thieves. DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) “against internet connected devices are increasing year-over-year not just in the amount, but also in persistence, complexity, and sophistication.”

Attacks such as the Mirai botnet, the growth of foreign funded, decentralized, “mercenary” hackers, and the simplicity with which such an attack can be conducted all point to a problem that will only continue to grow. The Mirai malware, for instance, “spreads by scanning the internet for IoT devices, including routers, that are protected only by default usernames and passwords to infect and hijack them to carry out DDoS attacks.” Put simply, these botnet attacks use scripts to attack en masse, with a hard to follow trail of evidence. The goal is for the instance of the botnet infecting your devices to remain there long enough to steal your identity, passwords, and probably just about anything you type, say, or do in front of your computer. Botnets slow down your device and indeed all affected IoT devices, as they require processing power to function in the background.

As scary as that all sounds, both botnets and the classic DDOS can be anticipated and prevented, even if sometimes an infection could mean a total system format.

The more IP cameras and IoT devices you use, the greater the risk. There are, in fact, many websites devoted to hacked IP cameras, where without the victims consent, they are being watched by potentially hundreds or even thousands of unique IPs over time. This makes it easier for not just data thieves, but also for those who might wish to physically break in to your facility to gather intelligence on your system, as well as your habits and the access control data generated by you and your personnel.

In the article following this, we will take a look at the top 5 ways to protect against these threats, so that your cybersecurity is as tight as your physical ability to lock down.

Part 2

So let us get straight into it and see how to defend against a botnet.

  1. Determine which cameras or other IoT devices in your network are most vulnerable. CheckVideo has a tool for checking your cameras for “the most commonly used/default passwords to see if they are vulnerable to being hacked”, which is available on their website.
  2. For cameras that are determined to be vulnerable, CheckVideo provides a list that they call the “Camera Device Manufacturers List”. If your device is on that list, it is best to act quickly to secure it.
  3. This one seems obvious, but is perhaps the most common cause of a compromised device or network. Factory default passwords must be changed. It is best to use a password consisting of a variety of characters, numbers, and symbols, and to rotate new passwords in frequently. A password change is the first line of defense against a potentially compromised system. Many software suites exist for just this purpose, and password management is about as important as any other measure.
  4. Use unique passwords device to device in your network. “If you have a recorder (NVR) on site, you will have to enter the new passwords for each camera in the recorder.” ( It is recommended that each camera have a unique password. Hopefully, you will notice the attack after just one compromised device and can act before the infection spreads.
  5. Finally, keep all firmware up to date. IP cameras, like any other Iot device, is a computer (hardware) which runs software. Updates to firmware from the manufacturer will patch known vulnerabilities as they are discovered, will keep your system from encountering slow-down, and should be done roughly once a month, especially for more complex projects.

CheckVideo offers a comprehensive suite of products, built to be both easy to use and difficult to penetrate from the outside. For a serious access control/video surveillance project with multiple cameras, doors, an possibly analytics on-site or in the cloud, CheckVideo has a solution.

Security Technology of South Texas is proud to design, install, an service CheckVideo systems and systems like it. We are available 24/7 at on our website or via phone at 210-446-4863.