Hello to all.
I need some basic security advise. I get new hardware for security application. It sends alarm signals through network connection. The hardware is very new on the market so I decided to check the basic security for networking.
1. First, I checked the data transfer which is in clear text data. It supports datagram and stream transfer too.
2. Second, I made a port scan and there was lots of open ports to which I can make a telnet connection and send data to it. (all ports are opened)

Since I will place this hardware to unknown networks (networks managed some other guys) I need to know that my hardware will not cause any security hole in this LAN.

1. Question (point 1): How dangerous is the clear data transfer.
Note: At this moment the hardware sends datagram packets to a public static IP address on the internet. One message per packet. In this datagram packet are the clear text data presented. The server responds with the same datagram packet to acknoledge the data.

2. Question (point 2): How dangerous are these open ports (all ports are open)?
Note: I can make full TCP connection and send data to the device. Probably it will not accept any data but I have a bad feeling about it.

It seems to me that the guy who made this hardware does not care about network security much.

In real world: how likely is it that such things can be abused.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Well in the "real world" you ask? My oppinion, in the real world you will not notice anything ever (until it is too late at least). In the virtual world though, your data is not just accessible through all your open ports but also susceptible to data interception when being sent over the net.

My suggestion: close the ports you are not using, use encryption for data transfers and get additional information from the "guy" who installed the hardware for you. It seems you have implemented this hardware due to safety precautions. So rather safe than sorry right?

There is no real harm in having every port open if he just pipes the inbound data to /dev/null -- but it doesn't make sense either. Network security in general is based on implementation of individual devices so its hard to say whether or not this will be a problem.

As far as the data being sent as plaintext -- I don't see how that poses a security concern unless you have private information being transferred such as passwords or company information? You could always use a VPN tunnel and encrypt the connection to your home office since you do not control the device comms.