IBM Finds Security Flaws in Visitor Check-In Systems

IBM Finds Security Flaws in Visitor Check-In Systems

“We found that you could break out of the kiosk and interact with the underlying Windows operating systems, and from there do things like drop malware or open up the database,” said Daniel Crowder, research director at the IBM X-Force Red security unit.

Researchers from IBM have found security flaws in some digital systems used in office buildings to let visitors check in and get access badges. According to the researchers, some of the devices used with these systems have flaws that could leave facilities insecure.

“We found that you could break out of the kiosk and interact with the underlying Windows operating systems, and from there do things like drop malware or open up the database,” said Daniel Crowder, research director at the IBM X-Force Red security unit.

By accessing the database, a hacker could learn who else was visiting the office—which could be sensitive information—or allow them to impersonate expected visitors to enter offices without permission.

“Knowing, for instance, that the CEO of a related company has been visiting every day for the last few weeks would be valuable intelligence to collect,” Crowder said. “Depending on what data the visitor management system stores, there may be an opportunity for identity theft as well.”

According to Crowder, these visitor management systems are mostly designed to be used without an attendant, but their deployment can vary from site to site.

Research on these visitor check-in systems was conducted by two college interns with guidance from the X-Force Red team. The researchers investigated the devices’ software, but did not probe any cloud-based visitor tracking tools.

Affected systems include Lobby Track Desktop, EasyLobby Solo, EVisitorPass, Envoy Passport and The Receptionist for iPad.

According to Crowder, IBM notified the system vendors of the vulnerabilities so that they could be patched as needed before IBM disclosed the issues.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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