David Sopas – Web Security Researcher

December 4, 2017 at 4:45 pm

Using UART to connect to a chinese IP cam

This blog post has been created for completing the requirements of the SecurityTube Offensive Internet of Things course.


Student ID: IoTE- 766

Following my interest in going deeper on IoT – specially on hardware hacking, I grabbed a chinese IP cam – Loftek and started checking its internals. I already had researched the web application itself and the mobile app for Checkmarx but now I wanted something different.

My main goal was to find a serial port where I could connect to my laptop and see where it takes me. I was really hoping for root access…

After identifying the components I got what I wanted. A UART connection in J2 that I hoped that allowed me to create a serial communication. In this case it was pretty easy to identify them because they were printed on the PCB – RX – TX – GND – VCC (5V).

I grabbed a couple of pins and started soldering them to the RX – TX – GND. This last one was not very well positioned because the pin holes were very close to each other.

Now the fun part. Connect to my laptop. I used 3 jumper cables and the Attify Badge.

RX – D0
TX – D1

Next step, detect the baudrate for the communication. I used the python script from Craig Heffner on Kali Linux and it returned:

In the following case I used screen but you can also use minicom – with the previous detected baudrate:

And guess what! A root shell dropped in the console.

Other interesting thing that I already did on a previous research was to use this IP camera to sniff the network.  What I did was to install a tcpdump binary and created a small script:

ifconfig ra0 down
iwconfig ra0 mode monitor
ifconfig ra0 up
./tcpdump -i ra0 --monitor-mode -w cap.cap &
sleep 30
killall tcpdump
ifconfig ra0 down
iwconfig ra0 mode managed essid network-2g key s:myKeyto_Wifi
ifconfig ra0 up

After a while I got few hits on the Wireshark that allow me to see people using Dropbox inside the network and some other services:

LLMNR/NBNS Poisoning anyone? 🙂

I hope to continue my path on hardware hacking because it’s really fun. Don’t forget also to check my BLE article where I wrote my notes on this “smart bluetooth” thing.

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