The hackers offering public broadcasts from your home surveillance camera

Updated 2017-06-22 14:56:21 CGTN

Whatever becomes smart also becomes vulnerable to hacks.

The Internet integration of newer models of home surveillance cameras may be useful when you want to view footage online, but it has also attracted hackers, who sell the passwords to the gadgets online, and lead strangers to have an inside view of users' bedrooms.

That means as you are enjoying watching your baby at home from a distant place, hundreds of total strangers may also doing the same thing!

China Central Television (CCTV) peeked inside this emerging privacy-invading industry.

By searching "camera hack" in popular online messenger QQ, you can find a lot of group chats, in which hackers are selling passwords. These criminals say if you pay enough, they can even sell you "scanner" software to find more hackable cameras on the Internet.

"Hacking packages" are on sale for as little as 25 US dollars, and a seller can easily shift 100 copies in a month.

Some hackers even publish camera passwords they found to attract buyers. QQ shows that those passwords have been downloaded more than 1,000 times.

CCTV managed to contact a victim, and confirmed that the views hackers got were actual views.

Under the hood

How do hackers get the passwords to cameras? CCTV found the answer at CNCERT, the Chinese agency responsible for the security of national public computer networks.

"These scanners are guessing the cameras' passwords, on a massive scale," CNCERT Senior Engineer Gao Sheng told CCTV. "Their first guesses are weak passwords like 'user' or 'admin'."

Earlier this year, government quality inspectors in China conducted checks on 40 batches of smart cameras, 32 of which were found to have data safety vulnerabilities.

Weak passwords are everywhere, waiting for hackers to discover. It is a global problem instead of a Chinese phenomenon.

To avoid falling victim to this kind of hack, Gao provided three useful tips for smart camera users.

1. Do not keep the factory default password for your camera. Do not use simple password like "123456" either.

2. Do not point the camera at bedrooms and bathrooms.

3. Get into the habit of running virus scanning software regularly.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58August 20 2017 13:59:16

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16August 20 2017 13:59:16

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18August 20 2017 13:59:16

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords