Are You Being Watched? - NBC Connecticut

Are You Being Watched?

Home security solution may actually cause problems

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A website is broadcasting live security camera feeds to the entire world, and one of them could be yours. The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters have an important warning about your safety. (Published Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014)

    It's a startling discovery for anyone who has bought and installed a security camera that streams live pictures: Someone, somewhere could be watching you right now.

    A website is broadcasting some of these live feeds to the entire world, and one of them could be yours. The operator of that website is hacking into the live cameras of people who never changed their default passwords.

    Years ago, you'd only find surveillance cameras at banks and some convenience stores. But now, they're also in many homes, and as it turns out, you may not be the only one watching.

    These days, surveillance cameras are cheaper and more high-tech than ever. The most recent trend: cameras that stream video of what's going on at your house, live, so you can watch wherever you are. But you may be sharing some of your most private images, without even knowing.

    This website, which we aren't identifying, has thousands of images from surveillance cameras from across the U.S. and around the world, live images both inside and outside people's homes.

    “I am glad to point users into a large security problem. Only 73,000 cameras left of 160,000 left with unchanged password in my database. But there are still millions of insecure cameras in the world," the website operator told NBC Connecticut in broken English.

    The operator said a standalone system should be "relatively secure," but that can change if you access it from a mobile device.

    "You have to exercise password security. Because if you don't, you're leaving the gate open to different kind of people. People with bad intentions," explained security consultant A.J. Irwin.

    He said it can lead to even more problems.

    “These systems with a mobile device, you're opening up everything you access in your mobile device if you don't have good password security," Irwin said. "That includes your bank account, your social media, your credit card information, everything.. Your life."

    The simple solution is to change your password. Don't use the default password that came with your camera. You can check your instruction book on how to do that.

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