Security cameras are one of the most popular product for home security. Their low price and increased high-tech features makes them a good deal in terms of quality and price. Most of the cameras are installed in houses or offices and can be viewed remotely, for example over an iPhone or an iPad. The new cameras have impressive range of motion, night-time infrared vision and some of them have even-way audio, so you can yell at the punk stealing your garden gnome while you’re at work!
Behind all this functionality lurk dangers which consumers are often not aware of.
Imagine you set up a camera to monitor your kids when they get home from school, or your business while you go to lunch. Now imagine that the feed that you’re able to access on the Internet wasn’t secure and that others could view your private feed. That’s what happened to hundreds of consumers that relied on Trendnet’s SecurView IP cameras when a hacker publicized a flaw in their system that posted links to live feeds of nearly 700 cameras. The Federal Trade Commission Wednesday announced a settlement with Trendnet, charging the company with lax security and falsely misrepresenting its “SecurView” product as secure and suitable for maintaining security. TRENDnet sent user login credentials in clear, readable text over the Internet, the commission said, even though free software was available to secure those transmissions. This case is the first FTC enforcement action against a marketer of an everyday product with interconnectivity to the Internet and other mobile devices. In a statement, Trendnet said it took steps to resolve the hack as soon as it found out: “The product hack and the subsequent FTC action was used as an opportunity to improve best practices which support augmented product security for existing and future products,” the company said.
However, this is just one of the cases of break-in due to faulty security cameras networks. In mid-August, a couple find out that a group of hackers had broken into their networked cameras which were installed in their house and used as video baby monitors. The criminals were unfortunately using the cameras to shout obscenities at their young daughter. The cameras in question had a security patch pushed out after launch that the victims didn’t know about, probably similar to what happened with TRENDnet.
There’s a lot to be gained by connecting more and more devices to the Internet, but it does open up new avenues of attack that can strike closer to home than ever before. DSLR cameras, networked office phones, even the camera on your laptop can be used by the determined attacker to reach out and touch your home. Taking precautions is a good start: update your software frequently, and actually go out and check if there are updates for the devices you purchase. Create a password even when it’s optional.
But if you live in the Great Vancouver area or Lower Mainland, why don’t you take a look at our security services? Integritas Security Group offers reliable Alarm Response Service and Mobile Patrol Services. Call us today to arrange for your security needs and get protected.