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Is it possible to hack the web UI of a Panasonic BL-C131A? Answered

 I have a couple of these cameras around the house for basic security and to watch our pets etc. The web user interface is garbage and horrible on a mobile device (i'm a web developer so I'm a snob about that stuff :). I'd like to "hack" it. I'm assuming it's a firmware hack. Not sure what would be involved, but it could be a fun project. However, i'm having trouble finding enough information online to get started. Anyone out there that has the resources to point me in the right direction or even lend a hand?

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bjmsam (author)2012-07-02

These Panasonic Network Camera Technical Notes are for a different IP camera with a similar interface that may help shed light on things...

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steveastrouk (author)2010-03-19

Have a good route around on-line - there's BOUND to be someone who's tried to get into these things. A lot of them even run Linux in some flavour or other.

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bcamp1973 (author)steveastrouk2010-03-20

 I've done some pretty thorough googling and haven't come across any previous attempts yet. I was searching for mods/hacks primarily. At this point most of what comes up are my previous posts on the topic on various forums :(

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steveastrouk (author)bcamp19732010-03-20

The level of access you want is unlikely to be freely granted by Panasonic ! Its time to open the camera up and identify the chips uses, as well as the access available. If you're really serious about this, you'll need JTAG tools, and some nifty soldering to "break in"

If there's an upgrade from Panasonic, you might be able to hack that file.

Steve

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bcamp1973 (author)steveastrouk2010-03-28

Here's a link to download firmware updates here. How might i get into that file and root around? I'm assuming i'd need special software?

http://bit.ly/cewetF

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steveastrouk (author)bcamp19732010-03-28

Now you'll have to start asking in various Linux groups. The procedure for hacking most of these kind of things is well established - at least to the point of proving its got Linux in it, and, under the GPL a copy of the code and any changes that have been made to it SHOULD be available.

This isn't about your camera, or hardware, but I think its a pointer to the general process you're now in. There is a Yahoo group dedicated to the 9100 which also has some good pointers for how to enter the back doors, if they exist.
HTH
Steve

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lemonie (author)2010-03-18

At a guess these run to a standard, you're just encumbered with the software that came with the cameras. Now, they do look a bit advanced, so you might be looking at writing your own, unless someone else has done that already.
OK, you know code - how do these things work - what sort of data do they use and on what protocol?

L

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bcamp1973 (author)lemonie2010-03-20

 I'm sure you're correct in that they run linux of some form. And yes, they're probably relatively complex...and this project may prove to be too far over my head. Here are the tech specs for both of the cameras i currently have...Bl-C1 and BL-C131A

All i really would like to do at this point is rewrite the HTML/CSS markup for the camera controls. I wouldn't even attempt to change the controls themselves. However, my understanding with such things is that i'd have to create a new firmware patch and "update" the firmware on the camera?

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lemonie (author)bcamp19732010-03-20

You might not need to do anything more than rewrite the HTML - can you post it here as a file? (add images button)

L

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bcamp1973 (author)lemonie2010-03-20

 My problem is *how* to upload those changes to the camera. I've been thinking a firmware rewrite would be the only option but maybe not? Maybe i could telnet in somehow and just make changes?? I've attached some sample html. It's really ugly stuff (old school table layouts with frames etc) but i can work within those restrictions...

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lemonie (author)bcamp19732010-03-20

Interesting. As far as I see it, the script in the HTML requests to "CgiStart" and I guess the control goes from there? (some piece of code somewhere)
You could change the web interface easily enough if you stuck with the same fragments of script for control. And I'd say there's room to tweak the script - what do you think?

L

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bcamp1973 (author)lemonie2010-03-20

 I agree, the html is no problem. the CGI script might not even be that difficult to deal with. i did a port scan on the camera and it seems it only allows you one port to access it, and that's whatever port you assign for HTTP. As far as i can tell the other protocols are outgoing only. So, no idea how to get into the code and actually do any changes :(

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