Menu
Backdoor account replaced by another backdoor in vendor stumble

Backdoor account replaced by another backdoor in vendor stumble

The issue has been fixed but raises questions over how companies manage vulnerability reports

A company that makes video conferencing products replaced one serious security vulnerability with another, despite being warned of the dangers.

AMX Harman, which makes a variety of audio-visual and building control equipment, has patched the problem. But on Thursday SEC Consult, an information security firm in Vienna, revealed what it says is the back story.

Last March, SEC Consult warned AMX that it had found a secret account in certain versions of the NX-1200, an appliance for controlling audio-visual systems.

The hidden account used the username Black Widow, and SEC Consult said it found the password as well by studying the appliance's authentication procedures.

amx black widow account

The credentials can be used to gain broad access to the device, including the web-based management and command line interfaces. A hacker would also be able to capture packets, SEC Consult wrote.

The account appears to have been intentionally created, Johannes Greil, head of SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab, said via email.

"The backdoor is quite critical, because it seems to be deliberate and not some leftover from developers," he wrote. "The system tries to actively hide it from user management interfaces and the backdoor account even has more privileges than an admin account."

The finding by SEC Consult is worrying since AMX has a significant government business. In a photo on its website, it shows a photo of U.S. President Barack Obama with top advisors with the tag line "Room Automation."

amx obama


Although it was notified in March, AMX didn't provide a fix until October. When SEC Consult analyzed the fix, they noticed the "Black Widow" account had simply been changed to a new username.

According to a security brief from AMX, it removed what it called the "debugging account" to prevent a security vulnerability.

SEC Consult said it hasn't checked to see if the latest fix is effective. It did not release the passwords for either of the hidden accounts.

A more detailed advisory from SEC Consult says that backdoors affect many other products besides the NX-1200. AMX officials could not immediately reached for comment.

Now that the issue has ostensibly been resolved, SEC Consult wrote that its contact at AMX said the company "will be starting a major security initiative."


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments