Russian website is streaming thousands of unsecured web cams

20 Nov 2014

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The UK’s Information Society Commissioner’s Office has warned that thousands of unsecured web cams using default login credentials are being streamed on a website in Russia.

The site has streams from more than 250 countries, and currently provides 500 feeds from the UK alone.

Last month, we reported how one website, Insecam.com, collates cameras that have no protection and can be accessed by anyone. The site has since been taken down.

The site listed thousands of unsecured web cams around the world, including those in more than 300 homes and businesses around Ireland.

“The footage is being collected from security cameras used by businesses and members of the public, ranging from CCTV networks used to keep large premises secure, down to built-in cameras on baby monitors,” said Simon Rice, group manager for technology at the Information Commissioner’s Office.

“And with 350,000 of these cameras sold in the UK alone last year, this is a threat that all of us need to be aware of and be taking action to protect against.”

Web cams are easy to hack

Rice warned default passwords provided with new web cams aren’t secure and are easy to hack.

“If the device doesn’t have a password, then, as a bare minimum, you should set one up.”

Rice also urged home and business owners to secure all of their other devices that come with a wireless internet connection.

“Many programs and apps also now upload and store your information on cloud servers rather than, or as well as, the device’s hard drive. There are new storage devices, known as personal cloud servers, that sit in your home and allow you to access the files stored on them remotely using the internet connection in your home.

“The use of the cloud and all of these devices further increases the amount of information that’s potentially available if you fail to take adequate steps to keep your information secure,” Rice said.

Web cam image via Shutterstock

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com