IDG News Service - Researchers have discovered a flaw in the system used by Nikon professional digital cameras to ensure images have not been tampered with.
Normally, in high-end SLR digital cameras a unique and encrypted signing key is appended to an image when it is taken, which is verified in Nikon's case by its proprietary Image Authentication System. If an image is edited this key will be overwritten, an action that will be picked up by the software.
Russian company Elcomsoft, however, said that it has found a way to extract the original verification key so that it can be attached to any image regardless of whether it has been edited or not.
The security hole is said to affect all Nikon digital cameras supporting the verification system, specifically the D3X, D3, D700, D300S, D300, D2Xs, D2X, D2Hs, and D200 SLRs.
The company has not offered full details of how it discovered the issue, but has published tampered proof-of-concept images to back up its claim, including one superimposing the Beatles' Abbey Road album cover against a scene of Russian countryside. All were passed by Nikon's software as genuine, Elcomsoft said.
The revelation comes only months after the company found a similar flaw in the system used by photography's other leading vendor, Canon, to verify images from its professional cameras. The Russian firm claims that this issue remains unaddressed by Canon.
Image verification systems were designed to make digital images admissible in court as well as calm the nerves of photographic agency heads worried about image fakery. Part of the security problem is that for reasons of secrecy as well as commercial gain, Nikon and Canon's software is proprietary. This makes it harder for independent researchers to spot design flaws short of reverse engineering the technology, as a criminal hacker.
Elcomsoft has a controversial history in finding flaws in the security systems used by companies making well-known products. This has included finding security holes in backup program used by Research In Motion's BlackBerry, Apple's iPhone and most contentiously of all, selling a program that could "recover" Wi-Fi encryption keys.
However, the company has no plans to profit from its latest revelation, said Elcomsoft marketing and sales director, Olga Koksharova.
"It was just a pure security research," she said. "At first, we were sure Nikon would be interested in it and would somehow act together with us. However, they didn't reply to us for quite a long time and so we decided it might be interesting at least to the world."
- Transforming Information Security: Future-Proofing Processes This report provides a valuable set of recommendations from 19 of the world'd leading security officers to help organizations build security strategies for...
- The Evolution of Corporate Cyberthreats Cybercriminals are creating and deploying new threats every day that are more destructive than ever before. While you may have more people devoted...
- 3 Questions to Ask Your DNS Host about Lowering DDoS Risks Neustar has had wide-ranging conversations with clients wanting to know how they can optimize protection as DDoS attacks increase in frequency and size.
- The Danger Deepens: 2014 Neustar Annual DDoS Attacks and Impact Report This report compares DDoS findings from 2013 to 2012, based on a survey of 440 North American companies, including 139 businesses delivering technology...
- Establish Cyber Resiliency: Developing a Continuous Response Architecture Many enterprises fail to proactively prepare the battlefield for a data breach by only leveraging outdated techniques that focus on the perimeter or...
- An Incident Response Playbook: From Monitoring to Operations As cyber-attacks grow more sophisticated, many organizations are investing more into incident detection and response capabilities. In this webcast, learn how to develop... All Cybercrime and Hacking White Papers | Webcasts