Technological advancement is a double-edged sword – it comes with its set of advantages as well as disadvantages. Security or CCTV cameras are a common fixture at most of the public and private places. People are filled with a sense of security when they realize that there is someone keeping a watch on the activities inside a building or in the area under surveillance. CCTV cameras have been able to foil a number of mischievous activities and unfortunate incidents. However, have you ever wondered who the watcher is?
(1) Well, many of you would be shocked to learn that it is not always an authorized security officer or owner of a building watching us. Instead, it is someone who has unauthorized access to the images and videos being streamed by the CCTV cameras.
(2) Majority of the latest CCTV cameras has remote access enabled in them by default and that too with a very weak password – this is just like giving access to secret files on your PC to someone you don’t even know. This is one security lapse that can be lapped up by the hackers who are on the prowl to gain access to systems with weak security features.
(3) Cameras that are used the retail shops, banks, offices, hotels and even hospitals are set to default configuration. This implies that anyone with a little technical knowledge can get quick access to the CCTV cameras. They can remote control the cameras and view the archived or live footages shot by them. With complete control over the movement of the cameras, they can gain complete visual access to a secure area. Since majority of the cameras are equipped to stream the videos online, so even a person sitting thousand miles away can watch the live video footage of the secured zone. This is really scary because that person could be planning something wrong with the video footages.
(4) CCTV surveillance is mostly deployed in the areas that are considered to be sensitive, which might include bank vaults, R&D Labs, server rooms and even military establishments. With such security loopholes found in CCTV cameras, it can prove to fatal. Often the CCTV cameras are installed and hidden without the knowledge of the workers, employees and visitors. Gaining unauthorized access to any of these cameras can be used as a spying tool. Thus, you would never know that a thief attempting to conduct a raid next day is actually watching a live footage and planning his moves.
(5) There are numerous ways to crack the default username and password of the centralized CCTV system. Once the hacker is able to hack into the admin account, the other jobs become easier. They can now enjoy complete control over the camera movement, archived videos and live streaming. Accessing the CCTV system remotely, the hacker can listen to the secret meetings as well as move or zoom the cameras to read proprietary information.
It is imperative to have CCTV monitoring systems deployed at sensitive zones for a 360-degree security. However, one also need to keep in mind that these advanced systems are subject to numerous risks and in order to ward off unnecessary hacking, penetration/vulnerability tests are a must. It would help the security officers as well as building owners keep their system safe from unauthorized access. One simple tip to protect the system against unnecessary hacking is to change the default passwords from time to time and switch off the remote access when not needed. This would help you to keep your CCTV camera’s videos and images safe and secure without letting anyone intrude the privacies of others.
Author: Michelle Patterson has been working with telecom companies, and is excited with the new communication, security and other systems flooding the market. She is excited in learning and sharing this knowledge.