Video Surveillance devices prone to hacking due to ill password security practices

Video Surveillance device manufactures such as DNF Security, Hikvision, D-Link, Synology and such have issued a warning that video surveillance systems commonly installed in businesses and family households are highly vulnerable to hacking if users do not adopt greater precautions with respect to password security.

The warnings were formulated after hackers recently managed to obtain illicit access to thousands of CCTV systems around the globe and live-stream their footage online via a Russia based website.

The website streamed footage from businesses and private homes in over 250 countries and regions with its database displaying listings for a total of 4591 cameras in USA, 2059 in France, 1576 in Netherlands and so on…

According to the manufacturers of CCTV devices, a big part of the reason why hackers were capable of accessing many Security cameras, DVRs and NVRs all around the world was due to the fact that the owners or users of these systems were using the default password provided by the manufacturer.

Here the installer should also take a bit of blame. When a professional installer is called to deploy a system, he/she needs to ensure that the system they are installing should be fool-proofed. The foremost thing is to change the default password of the device, which will keep the hackers at bay. But most of them, due to the reasons best known to them, ignore this security aspect and thus make the installed system vulnerable to hacking.

According to a probe launched by a security firm initiated by a video surveillance device manufacturer, the devices were not actually hacked– in the conventional sense, the hackers simply used search tools to scour the web for devices whose default settings had not been altered and could thus be more readily accessed.

China’s Foscam, Linksys, Panasonic, Hikvision, Synology company related device users were the prime victims of hacking in this year.

Linksys has since advised users to take greater precautions with password security, and most importantly of all, to change the default settings for passwords immediately following the purchase of camera devices. Linksys said that it will continue to educate consumers that changing default passwords is extremely important to protect themselves from unwanted intruders.

Foscam, Panasonic and Linksys have updated their device security features and said that their users will now on receive warning whenever they log into the camera, until they set a new password.

Let’s hope that other company manufacturers will follow the same soon.

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