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Russian hackers post 500 UK webcam live streams online

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Upwards of 500 UK webcams have had their footage streams posted to a Russian website, without their explicit knowledge or permission.

Upwards of 500 UK webcams have had their footage streams posted to a Russian website, without their explicit knowledge or permission.

Anyone can head online and take a gander at the streams, which include an office in Warwickshire, a Manchester gym, a host of bars and shops, and even a child’s bedroom in Birmingham.

It’s not just the UK that’s been targeted by the European site – thousands of cameras worldwide have been posted to the web.

Countries with leaked webcams include the US with 4591 cameras, France with 2059, and 1576 in the Netherlands.

Other nations affected by the privacy breach including developing economies like Nicaragua, Pakistan, Kenya, Paraguay, and Zimbabwe.

The issue has arisen as a result of people not using passwords on their webcams, or sticking with the default generic password that came with the camera out of the box.

Both of these options make for easy picking, and actually rely on very little hacking effort to accomplish a breach.

Guillermo Lafuente, Security Consultant at MWR InfoSecurity, explained the issue to TrustedReviews: “In order to find exposed cameras, an attacker can simply use an online search engine.

“The main problem with CCTV cameras and webcams is that they often allow remote access by default, and are preconfigured with credentials which are easy to find online or to guess.”

He advised users of IP cameras to disable remote access unless you need it, and to use strong, difficult-to-guess passwords.

“It is very easy to find cameras that are still vulnerable to exploits which are several years old,” he added. “It [is] very easy for an attacker to access the camera and watch it live remotely.”

Affected camera brands include Linksys, Panasonic, and the China-based Foscam.

So how can you stay safe against these attacks? Well it’s pretty simple – you’ll need a tough-to-crack password associated to your webcam, and all your computer software too, for that matter.

The best ways to do this are to make sure there aren’t any words in your passphrase, as well as using a mix of letters, numbers, and capital letters.

It’s also worth checking if your chosen software supports punctuation and spaces in a password, as adding these can make your system even more secure.

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Via: BBC

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