We live in a world where surveillance cameras are quite wide spread and often give us the impression of living in a huge Big Brother. Despite the various controversies about privacy, they have, however, proved their effectiveness in preventing crimes and in helping to identify and stop dangerous criminals.
However, it has been shown that the usual closed circuit television cameras have a very weak safety system: they are often sold with Internet remote access enabled by default, and with a preset weak password. This allows hackers to control them and to favour, in this way, criminal actions.
According to researcher Justin Cacak, safety manager of Gotham Digital Science, as a result of “penetration tests” carried out for customers to discover the vulnerability of the security of their networks, it has been demonstrated how these devices can be hacked and viewed from any part of the world.
Banks, research laboratories, universities, businesses, homes and other sensitive sites, are thus exposed to a huge risk: hackers could take control and steal important information and projects, or simply violate the privacy of thousands of people without these may realize.
So, remote access to these devices is possible if the manufacturer allows such an access as a default setting. Moreover, in most cases, these settings remain permanently for the simple fact that users do not know how to change them, because they’re not experts. The situation appears even worst if you consider the fact that preset passwords are very weak and thus easily decipherable.
In this way, according to experts headed by Cacak, it was possible to enter the conference rooms of different important companies, such as the Boardroom of Goldman Sachs. That’s why it would be important, according to researchers, disable remote access to these surveillance cameras, provide them with stronger password or simply use a different type of micro-cameras.