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Home » Hacking News » Web surveillance cameras, live, on internet

Web surveillance cameras, live, on internet

by Nikola Strahija on January 11th, 2005 A pair of simple Google searches permits access to well over 1,000 unprotected surveillance cameras around the world - apparently without their owners' knowledge, the piece of news that spread throughout forums and blogs.


Searching on certain strings within a URL sniffs out networked cameras that have Web interfaces permitting their owners to view them remotely, and even direct the cameras' motorized.

Video surfers are using this knowledge to peek in on office and restaurant interiors, a Japanese barnyard, women doing laundry, the interior of an Internet collocation facility, and a cage full of rodents, among other things, in locales scattered around the world.

One of the Google search strings circulating summons a list of nearly 1,000 installed network cameras made by Swedish-based Axis Communications, the other turns up about 500 cameras sold by Panasonic. Neither company could be reached.

According to their websites, both companies offer the ability to password-protect the Web interfaces to their cameras, and Axis has a feature that blocks access to webcams from all but approved Internet IP addresses. It's not apparent whether the security features are enabled by default. A FAQ on Panasonic's website includes a warning that their network cameras may not be right for "sensitive applications," and sports a broad disclaimer: "No specific claims are made pertaining to specific levels of security the camera offers."


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