Eavesdroppers in the Boardroom
Radvision Scopia XT1000
Radvision Scopia XT1000
New York Times reports videoconferencing often vulnerable to hackers.
By Lisa Nadile

The New York Times reported that boardroom and other cameras are often left open to outside viewers. The article profiles one security expert, HD Moore of Rapid7 in Boston, who “visited” dozens of conference rooms across the country, changing camera angles and zooming in on objects. Moore demonstrated that outsiders can view and eavesdrop on discussions in these rooms easily.

The vulnerability exists because now most videoconferencing runs on Internet protocol (IP) like many devices today. However, some installers are adding this technology outside the firewall in the mistaken belief that these technologies aren’t as vulnerable to malicious users.

The news comes at a time when a greater number of devices, including control and automation are being attached to the network. The article describes how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce discovered that a printer and a thermostat were communicating with a Chinese Internet address.

The videoconferencing vulnerability arises out of the desire to make these systems push-button easy. “New systems are outfitted with a feature that automatically accepts inbound calls so users do not have to press an “accept” button every time someone dials into their videoconference,” the article states.

While the extent and number of organizations experiencing this vulnerability is debatable, this is something any A/V specialist should think about when installing these systems.

About the author

Lisa Nadile - Managing Editor
Lisa Nadile is Managing Editor for TechDecisions. She has been a technology journalist for over twenty years and has never lost her love of technology and the way it changes (and improves) our lives. She has written for many magazines and websites on the development of computers and the Internet, and is enjoying her new mission in the audiovisual sector.

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