The Daily Mail has revealed that people could be being watched in their own homes or at work as hackers are targeting webcams and uploading the live footage to the internet. The warning comes from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is urging people to upgrade their passwords from the default setting.
Very few people would leave their front doors unlocked, yet failing to password protect your devices carries the same risks to both their privacy and security. As the capability of these devices becomes increasingly sophisticated, it is inevitable that users will inadvertently expose themselves and their lives to hackers.
It has been reported that a Russian website is featuring live feeds from the UK, including a gym in Manchester, a bedroom in Birmingham, and an office in Leicester. In light of the 350,000 estimated cameras that were sold in the UK in 2013, the number of vulnerable cameras could be in their tens of thousands.
Simon Rice, ICO group manager for technology, has warned that “the website, which is based in Russia, accesses the information by using the default login credentials, which are freely available online, for thousands of cameras. 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. This is a threat that all of us need to be aware of and be taking action to protect against.”
This warning from the ICO should come as a timely wake up call that the public need to start educating themselves about the technology they are bringing into their homes and how to keep it secure. The advice from the ICO is:
- Change your default password
- Check all available security settings
- Secure all your other devices with an internet connection
In addition to this, Big Brother Watch would recommend seriously considering where you place devices with a webcam. Increasingly it has become the norm for people to put these sorts of devices in their bedrooms (including baby monitors) or in private areas (our schools CCTV report highlighted cameras were being used in changing rooms and bathrooms). Our advice would be to take the time today to check what security settings are enabled on your own devices, and to show this story to your colleagues and employers if you are concerned about any devices in your workplace.
Our director appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss the story
This article is pure Copy/Paste from BigBrotherWatch
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