Big Brother knows your Password

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A website has come to light that supposedly shows 73,000 security cameras from all over the globe, which you could drop in and watch at any point. Mark James runs through the lack of education around changing default passwords and the possible implications of “open” cameras.


Originally reported on Mashable and later on WeLiveSecurity; Insecam shows cameras that “are not hacked... owners of these cameras use default passwords.”


Default Passwords


“The problem is, I would imagine, that most of these businesses would have never have thought to change any default passwords when setting up, or having the cameras set up for them,” says Mark James, ESET security specialist.

“Most people buy a device, get it working, fit it then leave it not thinking about the possible dangers of allowing anyone and everyone access to their cameras.”

Mark suspects that “no one suffers except the end user, at the worst it will provide an opportunistic thief knowledge about users whereabouts or current occupancy in the case of external cameras.”

Although “if it’s an internal camera then who knows what could be viewed and even worse made available online for others to view?”


Smart Connected Cities


This situation could highlight one of the possible issues with Smart Cities: unless every component is held to a consistent standard then the whole infrastructure could be easily exploited.

“Use this in conjunction with GPS tagging or Facebook/Twitter activity and it would not be long before a very detailed view could emerge showing a comprehensive layout of where you are and what times you are in or out: from a burglars perspective this is the jackpot.”


Beat Big Brother


“The manufacturers should make it obvious that these passwords need to be changed at configuration, providing clear information on how,” Mark says.

You obviously can’t force a private user to change their settings but making it abundantly clear that it is the best thing to do should be a top priority.