The penetration of wi-fi and smart technologies has also exposed us to innumerable security threats. We often fail to realize how the internet of things has made us vulnerable. So if you are using devices that can communicate, they can put your safety at risk. Some of these include Fitbits, echo dots, baby monitors and your security cameras.
Well, that is right.
While it is hard to believe that a device installed for your safety can put your safety at risk, it is true?
Do you have a security camera installed at home? Did you know that hackers can use it to spy on you using the internet?
There have been numerous news reports about people who knew how to hack a security camera. But why would they do that?
Below are some reasons why people hack a security camera:
· To make the security system stronger: Well, some hackers do not have ill-intentions. Rather they hack programs and devices to identify any vulnerabilities and exploit them. They are called white hat hackers. They work in close sync with manufacturers. Once they identify the vulnerability, they inform the manufacturers who in turn fix them and enhance the security. Public information is then rolled out to let the customers know that there was a vulnerability that has now been resolved. If black hat hackers find the vulnerabilities before the white hat hackers do, they will use it to fulfil their malicious intentions.
· With malicious intentions: The intentions of black hat hackers can be categorized as below:
1. To access processors belonging to the manufacturer: This is one of the major reasons why black hat hackers seek to exploit security cameras. They want to use the powerful processor that the manufacturer has employed to run the cameras. The processing power acts as a tool to accomplish other tasks. For instance, many cases have been reported where devices with embedded Linux were hacked. This was done to mine bitcoin using the processors as bitcoin mining needs extensive processing power.
These kinds of attacks do not cause a data breach but are still unethical because the resources are being utilized at the company’s expense. Also, the activities will be traced back to the processor being used.
· To access private and sensitive data: Those who know how to hack a security camera, intend to steal protected data from the network to which the cameras are connected. The cameras are connected directly to the network of users to help them monitor using their mobile devices. However, the same network falls prey to hackers if they exploit the vulnerability in the device.
The hackers may have varied intents such as accessing company secrets, stealing user or employee data for phishing or getting financial data. These attacks impact the user directly.
Such data breaches mostly affect businesses. If you wish to buy a security camera for your business, here are some good options.
Can my CCTV camera be hacked?
Yes. If your camera is connected to the internet, hackers can reach it. However, not all cameras are equally vulnerable. Some are easier to hack than others. Two-factor authentication in cameras can help protect data by blocking access to your account or mobile app. Two-factor authentication works by sending a code to phone or email. The app can be accessed only once you enter the code. If your camera has this feature it is relatively safe.
How to save my information from going to security camera hackers:
Other than two-factor authentication, there are multiple ways in which you can secure your information. Here are some simple tips and tricks that you can follow:
· Use a complex username and password: Most security camera users commit the mistake of not changing the default password or assigning a very easy password such as “0000”. You should also set different usernames and passwords for the Wi-Fi router, security system and camera. Ensure that the passwords are at least 10 characters long and are a mix of upper and lowercase letters and symbols.
· Set WPA2 on the router: This will ensure that every device that tries to connect will need to enter a password. Many routers come with this feature; you can opt for those if you cannot set WPA2.
· Use only private networks to access the security camera: Accessing your home security system using a public network will only put you at risk. Those who know how to hack a security camera mostly use these non-secure networks to extract information.
· Keep a tab on the activity on your account: Security cameras and systems mostly come with the feature that allows you to monitor who has accessed the account. Keep a tab on this to spot any unusual activity. If you see any red flags, change the passwords.
· Be wary of any strange activity on the camera: If you haven’t activated the camera but it still shows on or functions on its own, it might have been accessed. Do not ignore these signals are minor malfunctions.
· Give access only using separate credentials: If you need to share access with friends or family, do not share your password but create another username and password. This will prevent misuse of the password. It will also allow you to turn off access if required.
I think my camera is hacked. What should I do?
If you think your camera may be hacked, first disconnect the power. Now change all the passwords including those on the app and router. You must also report the same to the manufacturer and the local law enforcement.
It is always a good idea to install a good camera system with high levels of security. If you think your camera isn’t so secure, upgrade. Whether you are looking for a camera for your home or business, you can find one here.
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