Video Surveillance DVRs Exposed by Hard Coded Password

The security of devices that are internet accessible has become more and more critical in recent years. Recently cheap unsecured webcams have come under fire after many such devices were exposed by the Shodan search engine. Now as many as 46000 users of digital video recorders (DVRs) manufactured by Zhuhai RaySharp Technology may actually be making their property less secure, with it coming to light that the Chinese manufacturer has been using hard-coded unchangeable passwords for the highest user privileges in their software.

The vulnerability was discovered by security researchers from vulnerability intelligence firm Risk Based Security (RBS), who examined the software that the DVRs’ interface runs on. RaySharp’s DVR products have a web interface through which a user can view the camera feeds, manage settings and recordings and operate any pan or zoom features on the cameras. These web interfaces all run on a Linux OS based firmware, which on examination of the CGI scripts that manage the user authentication of the web interface a routine was found that checks to ensure the user-supplied username is “root” and the password is “519070”. Using these credentials to log into the web interface would provide full system access.

Using hard-coded passwords for small-scale systems used to be an accepted practice, where physical access to the system would generally be required regardless. Such things are now considered to be unacceptable by most, with many vendors developing secure systems and working to ensure vulnerabilities that do pop up are patched. That RaySharp still use hard-coded root passwords would be bad enough, but the Chinese firm also manufacture DVR products and provide firmware for a number of other companies worldwide with RBS researchers finding that at least some of the DVR products from König, Swann Communications, COP-USA, KGUARD Security, Defender and LOREX Technology, contain the same hard-coded root password. Another CGI script found in RaySharp firmware listed 55 vendors that apparently use the same firmware, so the impact could be much greater.

For those in possession of a DVR system from Raysharp or one of the other affected firms, RBS researchers chose to release information on the vulnerability, so that they can check for themselves whether their system possesses the issue. They recommend that any DVR that uses the username and password combination of root and 519070 should not be accessible on the internet and if access is required, it should be done by first logging into a VPN.

With the recent revelation that many webcams had been unwittingly exposed publicly online, it is likely that the same may occur for these DVRs. Hopefully, those with vulnerable DVR systems will discover the issue and take precautionary steps to avoid unwittingly sabotaging their own efforts to make their property or possessions safer.

Tablo DVR Brings Local TV Broadcasts to Streaming Devices @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Tablo is a DVR which allows users to access traditional TV broadcasts through streaming hardware like Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast and Apple TV. During CES, the company announced that an official app will be coming to LG’s smart TV webOS 2.0 operating system. From this spring, Tablo customers will also be able to enjoy broadcast programming using both a live TV grid guide and recordings screens. Tablo is planning to release software updates on a regular basis and aiming to be the primary choice for Apple users wanting to access local broadcasts.

The majority of US residents can watch high definition TV for FREE simply by plugging in an Over-The-Air (OTA) HDTV Antenna. This makes the device a great choice to expand programming options beyond traditional streaming. Furthermore, you can record footage and watch these programs on any piece of hardware. It also saves you money because the viewing experience is free and doesn’t require a hefty cable bill.

Do you still watch TV shows via normal programming or prefer to watch content on demand?

WD Purple 6TB Surveillance Hard Drive Review

Introduction


In today’s review, I am taking a look at a mechanical hard disk, but it isn’t one that is intended for your desktop system. Western Digital created their Purple line of hard disk drives to be the perfect choice for digital video recording, network video recording, and surveillance systems. On the test bench today is the 6TB version of this WD Purple surveillance hard disk.

All hard disk drives may look the same on the outside, but there is a big difference in what is inside and how it works. That is also the main reason that you should pick a drive suited for the task at hand and not just any random drive of the shelve. As WD puts it: “You wouldn’t use a bicycle to transport cargo across the country because it is not the right tool for the job.”

 

Whether you want to protect your personal assets and loved ones or monitor the business you worked hard to build, you’ll want surveillance-class storage to rely on. Not only are these drives built for 24/7 usage in environments up to 8 disks, they also come with enhanced firmware built just for this kind of operation. When it comes to surveillance, every frame counts, and every frame has to be perfect. This is especially noticeable when many cameras are using the drives simultaneously. WD’s Purple series has no trouble here and it is designed to work with up to 32 HD cameras.

The drives don’t just have to be perfect for the scenario that they are to be used in, they also need to be compatible with the systems themselves. WD made sure that this was the case by working closely with industry leading chassis and chipset manufacturers. If you got an NVR system, you’ll most likely find the WD Purple on the official list of supported drives.

The entire line of WD Purple drives, from 1TB up to 6TB, all feature 64MB cache and come in the same 3.5-inch form factor. WD also used their IntelliPower system that we know from such drives as the RED series, that uses variable speeds to bring the performance that is needed without excessive noise from the motors. But that is where the similarities of the drives end. The 6TB version that I’m taking a closer look at today is the best performing of them all with a sustained speed rating of 175MB/s where the 1TB model for example only is rated for 110MB/s. The drives naturally also differentiate in power consumption. The bigger the drive, the bigger the power draw, that is if the word big even applies here. The WD Purple 6TB draws 5.3W during read and write operations, 4.9W when idle, and 0.4W when in standby or sleep mode.

The noise level is almost identical on all the models, but there are differences. The largest drives are also the loudest with a dBA rating of 25 when idle and 26 when seeking. With a weight of 750grams, the 6TB model is also the heaviest of them all.

I’ve previously mentioned the firmware and that this was an important factor, and it is. One of the things that make the WD Purple series so great is the exclusive AllFrame technology that works with ATA streaming to reduce error pixelation and video interruptions that easily occur when desktop drives are incorrectly used in security systems. Missed frames and lost footage is a serious problem when an event occurs and surveillance footage needs to be retrieved. WD Purple with AllFrame provides the confidence you should expect when it’s time to play back and review critical surveillance footage.

AllFrame Features:

  • Reduces video frame loss with surveillance-class storage.
  • Specifically tuned for surveillance security systems.
  • Caching algorithms are tuned for write-intensive, low bit rate, high stream count applications that are typical of surveillance applications.
  • Priority change for write allocations and preemptive caching policies.
  • TLER & ATA streaming support.
  • Supports up to eight drives.

Next to being designed for 24/7 always-on scenarios, the WD Purple series is also designed for high-temperature environments. The temperature rating of the WD Purple, on the base casting, ranges from zero to 65 degrees Celcius when operating and -40 to 70 when non-operating.

Western Digital is backing the Purple series of surveillance drives with a three-year limited warranty worldwide. However, it is unlikely that you’ll ever need that warranty as the drives are rated for a mean time before failure of 1 million hours and can withstand 300,000 load/unload cycles.

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers homepage at the time of the review and might as such be subject to possible future changes.

Western Digital Announced MyCloud OS 3 and Adds Arcus Surveillance Software

Western Digital has a great line-up of NAS devices that already come with a lot of good features and plenty of functionality, we’ve seen that for ourselves recently in the review of the WD EX4100 NAS. WD recognized that one thing was missing from their NAS when comparing to the competition and caught up on that by partnering with Milestone Systems and adding their Arcus Surveillance software to the upcoming and newly announced My Cloud OS 3.

The Milestone Arcus Surveillance software will be available first on WD’s My Cloud Business Series NAS systems beginning this month and it is expected to be available on other My Cloud systems such as the My Cloud Expert Series in the future. Milestone Arcus is designed to be embedded in hardware devices and as such a perfect choice for WD. This enables WD My Cloud OS 3 users to turn their NAS into a full-fledged networked video recording systems for their offices or homes. After installing the Arcus app, users can install up to 16 cameras where the first two are free and more will require the purchase of additional licenses.

My Cloud OS 3 will also bring a lot of other features that mostly centre around photo and video capabilities, and Chromebooks and Chromecast are also supported with this new OS version. My Cloud OS 3 will be available as a free download at the end of September 2015 for the models My Cloud, My Cloud Mirror, My Cloud Expert Series EX2/EX4, My Cloud Expert Series EX2100/EX4100 and My Cloud Business Series DL2100/DL4100.

Windows 10 and DirectX 12 Come to Xbox One in November

Xbox One will be getting Windows 10 sometime during November and, along with a new dashboard and interface, the console will be able to utilise the power of DirectX 12. Microsoft made the announcement at Gamescom 2015 in Cologne, Germany.

The console will be ditching the modified DirectX 11 it had been running in favour of the latest iteration which, in conjunction with Windows 10, will be focused on delivering greater speed, plus cross-platform compatibility. DirectX 12 will bring improved graphics and performance in-game, and increase the resources available for future developers to exploit the system’s hardware. The update will also introduce Cortana integration for Kinect users.

If you are a member of the Microsoft Xbox One Preview program, however, you will be able to update to an early build of Windows 10 and DirectX 12 for Xbox in September, a whole two months before the general public, as a beta tester.

Microsoft also announced that Xbox 360 backwards compatibility will be coming to Xbox One during the same month, giving owners access to over 100 games from the previous iteration of the console, boasting improved textures and lighting, with hopes that the catalogue will expand with time, and DVR support will be made available sometime next year.

Thank you TechSpot and Windows Central for providing us with this information.

Synology Officially Announce VisualStation VS360HD

We already had a sneak peek at the VS360HD during Computex earlier this month and now it is official, Synology officially announced the VisualStation VS360HD. It is a compact, durable, and high-performance surveillance companion that supports showing video feeds from up to 36 network cameras within a network when each camera is configured at 720p/10FPS, and also comes with dual Full HD mirrored display output via HDMI and VGA.

If one device shouldn’t satisfy the needs, you just set up more. You can connect multiple VS360HD to a KVM switch and provide a cost-efficient and easy scalable TV wall. Thanks to its fan-less design, VS360HD is completely silent and requires only 4.76W when operating with 36 channels and even lowers power usage down to only 3.61W when idle.

 

The palm-sized system is VESA mount compliant, so finding a way to mount it shouldn’t be any problem, that is if you don’t want it on your desk. It comes with an easy to use interface thanks to the Surveillance Station and has both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports.

The three USB ports on the VS360HD allows users to connect a mouse, keyboard, and even a joystick to easily operate specific IP cameras with PTZ (Pan-TiltZoom) control.

Synology’s new VisualStation VS360HD is backed with a 3-year limited warranty and comes with a recommended retail price of £360 including VAT.

Synology Shows off NVR Devices and Surveillance Station 7.0 at Computex

Computex 2015 – Synology released their new Surveillance Station back in February and you can’t just use it on their NAS devices. Synology also has a long list of NVR devices specialized for network video recording and surveillance and they brought them all long too.

Among the devices is the NVR716, a two-bay unit for small and midsize business. Ther NVR716 features 1080p local display capabilities as well as a CMS designed for retail businesses. The two bays can be extended up to 7 with Synology’s optional expansion unit.

The VisualStation VS360HD is a compact unit for PC-less monitoring for surveillance of all scales. With dual output over HDMI and VGA, it is as easy to hook up as it is to use and allows for easy monitoring of up to 36 channels of simultaneous HD viewing in 720p.

The durable, compact and last but not least fanless design allows for easy deployment and you can hook up as pretty much as many as you want.

Surveillance Station 7.0 is Synology’s new and revamped centre for monitoring and recording your video surveillance with easy multi-tasking and efficient task automation with action rules.

As you can see on the photos we’ve taken, there is barely any limit on how many cameras you can hook up to your security system, allowing you to monitor everything from small offices with a single room to full complexes and manufacturing plants.

Xbox One Reportedly Getting DVR Function This Year

Reports suggest that Xbox One is to gain DVR functionality later this year. Unnamed sources have told tech blogger Paul Thurrott that, with the news that Microsoft are pulling Windows Media Center from Windows 10, which allowed users to access their Windows media library through their Xbox console and record live TV, the company is looking to shore up the Xbox’s viability as a media platform.

Xbox One already has live TV playback capabilities and a built-in TV tuner, so it makes sense to add a DVR service to the console, which it already has in the form of live gameplay capture.

“Of course, many Media Center fans actually use the product to record and watch TV shows via Media Center PCs in the living room,” Thurrott’s story reads. “Microsoft’s solution for this need will apparently be the Xbox One, though the console currently only provides live TV watching, but not recording. My sources tell me that will change, and most probably this year, to include TV recording.”

Third party software already exists to fill the vacuum left by the demise of Windows Media Center – many, like Plex, PlayOn, and TVersity already in use anyway – but Microsoft understandably wants to keep all functionality in-house.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information.

The Ray Super Remote is the Ultimate Home Remote Control

There have been numerous attempts over the last few decades to create a single, universal remote control with the capacity to interact with every one of your home entertainment devices, with varying results, but the Ray Super Remote may now have cracked it.

The Super Remote, developed by Ray Enterprises, is a touchscreen device that can control your TV, satellite or cable box, DVR, games console, and internet streaming box, like Apple TV or Roku. It can connect to over 200,000 different devices, and can run software to control any home device with an IP address, such as the Nest thermostat.

The interface is fully customisable and the software can learn your habits and preferences to suggest programmes that may appeal to you. Battery life is around ten days, and the charging dock doubles as the remote’s holding tray.

David Skokna, CEO of New York-based Ray Enterprises, offered some insight into the development process of the remote, saying, “As we looked at ways to reimagine TV, it seemed like the remote control needed the most help. We think we have a big opportunity to do something magical.”

The Ray Super Remote is due for release in May or June this year, and will cost $199. www.ray.co is accepting pre-orders now.

Source: Business Insider

TRENDnet Launches 4-Channel HD PoE NVR Kit

Security is more relevant than ever and digital video recording solutions are a great way to deal with this. TRENDnet has announced their new standalone 4-channel HD PoE NVR Kit (TV-NVR104K) for just this situation and comes bundled with both two outdoor cameras and a pre-installed 1TB hard drive.

“The TV-NVR104K is a plug and play surveillance solution for SMB and retail environments,” stated Sonny Su, technology director of TRENDnet. “The TV-NVR104 powers the included PoE cameras, thereby simplifying the installation process. Users can add two additional PoE cameras to this PoE NVR kit.”

The NVR connects and powers up to four PoE cameras, auto-recognizes TRENDnet cameras, records over 8.5 days of continuous 720p video with four installed cameras, and supports advanced video playback.

TV-NVR104 Hardware

  • 4-Channel 1080p HD PoE NVR
  • Pre-installed 1 TB SATA hard drive
  • Plug and play PoE network cameras to the four PoE (IEEE 802.3af) ports with a total PoE budget of 35 Watts
  • Ethernet network port
  • HDMI and VGA display ports
  • Optional analog audio in and out ports
  • USB port for the included USB mouse
  • USB port for configuration backup and firmware upgrade

TV-NVR104 Management

  • 4-Channel 1080p HD PoE NVR
  • Access the NVR over the internet
  • Auto-recognizes compatible TRENDnet PoE cameras
  • Single camera and quad view modes with variable-time auto-scan function
  • For each camera manage: on-screen display, image settings, PTZ functionality, motion detection, privacy masks, tamper detection, and video loss
  • Record up to Full 1080p HD video at 30 fps in H.264 compression (included TV-IP320PI cameras record up to 1280 x 960)
  • Recording Time: 6.5 days of recording per camera: 4x cameras with continuous recording at 1280 x 960 at 30 fps; 8.5 days of recording per camera: 4x cameras with continuous recording at 720p at 30 fps.
  • Create weekly continuous and motion detection recording schedules for each camera with video overwrite when storage is full
  • Advanced archived video playback with a quick reference timeline and calendar
  • Quickly export specific video types over a specified time
  • Support for dyn.com and NO-IP.org
  • IPv6 support
  • ONVIF compliant

TV-IP320PI Hardware (two cameras included in the kit)

  • Outdoor 1.3 MP HD PoE IR Network Camera
  • The TV-NVR104 auto recognizes the TV-IP320PI
  • Fully adjustable integrated mounting bracket provides installation flexibility
  • Save installation costs with Power over Ethernet (IEEE 802.3af)
  • Outdoor IP66 weather rated
  • Operating temperature range of -30 – 60 °C (-22 – 140 °F)
  • 1.3 Megapixel: Record 1280 x 960 pixel and/or 720p HD video at 30 fps in H.264 compression
  • Night vision up to 30 meters (100 ft.) in complete darkness
  • Dynamic IR adjustment optimizes night visibility
  • Digital Wide Dynamic Range improves video quality in high contrast light environments
  • IPv6 support
  • ONVIF compliant

The TV-NVR104K will be available throughout January 2015 for a $629.99 MSRP. The DVR box has a 2-year warranty, the cameras have a 3-year warranty and the included HDD is up to the manufacturer of same.

Thanks to TRENDnet for providing us with this information

Dish Disables its Ad-Skipping Feature After Pressure from CBS

Satellite TV reception provider Dish has removed the ad-skipping feature from its digital video recorder (DVR) box after a feud with network television channel CBS.

After Dish launched its “AutoHop” feature, which allowed users to skip ad breaks, it was sued by CBS, NBC, and Fox. Dish won every single case. Changing tactics, CBS decided instead to bully Dish into compliance, pulling content from Dish for twelve hours, leaving customers with a channel blackout. Predictably, Dish followed the money and caved, agreeing to disable the AutoHop feature for CBS shows.

In a gloating statement, Ray Hopkins, President of Television Networks Distribution for CBS, said:

“We are very pleased with this deal, which meets all of our economic and strategic objectives. We look forward to having DISH as a valued partner for many years to come.”

Source: Ars Technica

WD Purple Now Available with 6TB Capacity

Western Digital has a wide array of different hard drives suited for different work scenarios. One of the somewhat lesser known series is the WD Purple line of HDDs designed for Video surveillance and WD just announced the release of the 6TB version of this drive.

The WD Purple series excels in the field of surveillance, supporting setups with up to eight hard drives and 32 high-definition video cameras. The purple series features the AllFrame technology that reduces video frame loss, improves playback and increases the number of drive bays supported. IntelliSeek technology is another feature added to these drives, it reduces the power consumption and thereby heat, by calculating the optimum seek speeds for the system workload. This also helps to reduce noise and vibrations from the drives.

Western Digital introduced their Purple series in February this year, but there have been other drives aimed at this market segment before. I’ve personally used surveillance drives in my NAS setups for years, and with great success. Depending on your usage scenario, this might be something worth considering on your next purchase.

There has been a close cooperation between WD and surveillance manufacturers to ensure a maximum of compatibility with new and existing systems, so using these drives should be as simple as any other on the market. The new WD Purple 6TB (WD60PURX) 3.5-inch drives are shipping to distributors and resellers now and will be sold with an MSRP of $329.99.

Thanks to Western Digital for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Western Digital

New Screenshots Show Xbox One’s DVR Feature And UI

Xbox One is just around the corner, but Microsoft have been pretty quiet about the UI for some time. This has been said to be due to scheduling issues with their public announcements, but there have been plenty of leaked videos and images to keep us entertained, so who cares!

What we can see here actually looks pretty decent, a nice mixture of the tiles that we’ve come to know from Windows 8, Window phone and of course the current Xbox 360 dashboard.

There is certainly a darker theme in play, a mixture of black, grey and bright highlights. All easy to read, fairly linear to navigate and this should make it nice and simple to use with either a controller or of course Kinect.

Phil Harrison took to the stage at the Eurogamer Expo for his panel, showing off these new features of the Xbox One DVR and the UI. This demos the ability to record game play, edit and trim the video, add voice and more video with Kinect, effects and then of course upload the video to Xbox live to share with your friends or the community.

So far so good, lets hope it keeps getting better as we approach release. Enjoy the gallery below.

Thank you DualShockers for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of DualShockers.

Hauppauge! HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition Plus Review

Hauppauge! are the first name I think of when it comes to digital recording devices, they’ve already set them selves up a massive fan base in the gaming community with their gaming specific PVR devices, but they’ve also gone a strong heritage in connection video signals through your computer, something that has served them well in the world of capturing video game footage and streaming software.

Gaming is huge, you might have noticed? Yet the biggest thing that has changed about this gaming generation is definitely social media and love it or hate it, you can’t really ignore it. Facebook and Twitter have become hubs for gamers to converse and share information, this is backed up even further by sites like YouTube that allow gamers to share their greatest moments, or Twitch.TV and UStream that allow people to watch live videos of you playing your favourite games in walkthrough videos, demonstrations, or even for those who compete in eSports and pro gaming.

Yet to do all this stuff on current gen home consoles you need some special hardware, something to act as a bridge between your TV, console and your computer that will allow you to take screen shots, capture video and stream your footage online and that is exactly where the Hauppauge! HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition Plus steps in, so lets get straight to the good stuff and see exactly what this device has to offer.

The first thing we notice about the PVR2 is that is comes nicely packaged in a fairly compact box, bright colours and a rather cool graphic on the front of the box is obviously made to appeal to a gaming audience with its alien monster motif. There is a decent looking photo of the product too as well as some technical details on the front and the side, but we’ll take a closer took at those shortly.