You may have recently heard of a site in Russia that is currently streaming live feeds from thousands of webcams across the globe. If you haven’t then you can click here to read the report.
The reason why this site is able to access those webcams is because they all have one thing in common – default credentials. It is possible to find these devices by searching for them online, given that they have an internet connection and most are not properly secured.
However, the reason why those feeds can be currently viewed by anyone is because the people who bought them never changed their default credentials. So anybody that knows the default credential combination, along with the IP address of the device can see what is going on. This can range from people’s businesses trying to protect their property to the wholly more disturbing idea that people are watching your baby sleeping or child playing.
So how can I prevent it?
…..I hear you say. Well the easiest method is when you get the monitor/webcam to change the default combination. Chances are most people will give up. To be better secured I would suggest using a password that is a mixture of alphanumeric upper and lower case letters along with numbers and symbols. Ideally you want it 15 characters or more, but that might be difficult to remember so at a minimum you should choose 8. It is highly unlikely that someone would be able to break that password.
There are other steps you can possibly take to further secure the connection but this depends on the models and the setup of your network configurations. That is something that is more technical and won’t be of much use to many. If you do want to go down that route though then get in touch.
Finally, I am deliberately not putting the link of the Russian website with all the feeds because I don’t want to drive traffic to the site and encourage others to view them. The simple step I’ve outlined above should be sufficient for now though.