Why are surveillance cameras so easy to hack?

Can hackers attack the security camera system in your home and how do they do it? What can you do to protect yourself?

In early 2019, an attack on the home security system in the US state of Illinois occurred, causing concern to the people of this country. The incident was discovered when Arjun Sud heard another man’s voice in his son’s room. This sound comes from a camera (of Nest, a subsidiary of Google specializing in home security systems) installed in the room.

When the hacker discovered that the owner of the house had noticed, he turned to harass and threaten Arjun. In a press release, Google denied that the Nest system was successfully hacked and said that this incident came from users because they set passwords that were too easy to guess.

Today, many households have turned to smart cameras to ensure the security of their homes, children and properties when going to work or travel. There are many brands, many different smart cameras on the market, they are easy to install and have many features such as motion detection or real-time tracking via mobile apps… But it’s the same with most devices. With other IoT devices, both smart cameras and smartphones can be attacked by hackers.

Why are surveillance cameras so easy to hack?
Like most other IoT devices, both smart cameras and smartphones are vulnerable to hackers.

Attacks on the security system have not only happened in Vietnam, the US, or China, but they have happened everywhere in the world. According to Vladislav Iliushin, Avast’s IoT vulnerability researcher , “according to statistics, in India, up to a third of households using smart home devices have an online connection to the security camera system. Security cameras are also the most vulnerable target , accounting for 45.6% of cyber attacks.

In 2018, the number of attacks on camera systems accounted for 15.2% of all attacks on IoT systems, this number was only 3.5% in 2017. A drastic change in just one year. shows how insecure home security systems are today, said Ritesh Chopra, Symantec sales manager.

According to Kaspersky , most smart cameras today allow access through the web platform, and they can be directly controlled with all functions on this platform.

In other words, each camera will have its own web page. The problem is that these sites and video streaming can be easily found through specialized search systems, such as Shodan or Censys.

“Once they have access to your camera system, cybercriminals will monitor your family’s daily activities and use the information obtained to plan to break into the house,” said Mr. Chopra. said.

According to Kaspersky, the problem with surveillance cameras is that most users and manufacturers prioritize ease of use over security . That’s why these systems can be so easily attacked. The biggest challenge of surveillance cameras is that they lack both the hardware and the software to make security a top priority.

“There are currently few, or almost no, common security standards for smart security devices such as cameras. Instead, manufacturers focus on building set our own standards and of course security is not a priority,” said Mr. Iliushin.

Users can reduce the risk of being hacked by changing their password regularly . Especially for systems installed by third parties, you must change your password and username as soon as the system is installed. If you keep the same password and username provided by the installation company, your security system will be attacked very easily because these passwords and usernames are usually very simple and are shared by everyone. all customers.

In addition, you need to update your device’s firmware and security patches regularly . The variety of attack methods is increasing, so even if you don’t update the firmware or security patches for a few months, it can create a hole in the home security system.

With the strong development of smart security devices and IoT devices today, cybercriminals will become more and more popular and active. For users, we also need to protect ourselves by setting strong enough passwords and setting up a separate network just for home security devices instead of sharing a Wi-Fi network. .