[thelist] upload webcam images securely.

Bill Moseley moseley at hank.org
Fri May 30 10:13:36 CDT 2008

Yesterday someone asked me to add a webcam feature to a web site.

The webcam is connected to a Windows machine that is shared by a
number of people and I would consider the machine insecure.
This Windows machine is on a pretty slow link and has a dynamic IP.

The website is hosted and on Linux.

The webcam has software that can FTP the images.  The website does
have an FTP account available, but no anonymous FTP and the
credentials would be the same to log into the website's shell account.

No way would I put the website's shell account credentials on this
machine.  But, I'd be willing to provide for a less secure way to just
transfer the image.  Hacking the Windows machine would allow someone
to upload random images, of course, but that would limit the damage
(not that a nice porn image on their home page would not be
damaging. ;)

Maybe there's an artifact on the real image I can look for to
authenticate that it's really from the webcam.

Other ideas might be:

1) Run a web server on the Windows machine to serve up that image and
then use cron one the website to fetch the image from the Windows machine.

2) Create a ssh key pair and have the Windows machine and on the Linux
machine setup up .ssh/authorized_keys to only run one program that
writes stdin to a standard file name, and limits the size.

3) Use some program that will do a HTTPS POST and send the file to a
script running on the website, again writing to a pre-set file name
and including some secret key in the post to prevent just anyone from
POSTing images.

I'm not that familiar with what to setup on the Windows side, so maybe
there's other tools you can recommend that would help with this?


Bill Moseley
moseley at hank.org
Sent from my iMutt

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