Update: The Russian website that broadcasts thousands of private security camera feeds from around the world is still up and running. It currently has feeds from many countries, including 11,046 cameras in the U.S. Many of the cameras are for home or personal use. Reporters at the Daily Mail visited the site for several hours and saw sleeping babies, a boy playing on his computer, a boy sleeping in his bed, the inside of a changing room at a church, a woman in a rocking chair and two people eating in a kitchen.
The site owners have emphasized that they did not have hack into these cameras because they used default passwords to gain access. But, that doesn't mean they didn't break the law. Motherboard is reporting that Jay Leiderman, a U.S. lawyer with experience in these types of cases, said "It is a stunningly clear violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)."
Internet-connected cameras are a wonderful tool that I recommend to all of my readers who want to beef up security in their homes. I use them throughout my home and even sell a few different styles in my store. But, your security dreams could easily turn into privacy nightmares if you don't set up your camera correctly. That's because without a strong password, your camera feed could end up on the Internet for anyone to see. That's the case with thousands of cameras around the world that are currently up on a Russian website.
The site includes feeds from all over the world. Users just have to click on a country to scroll through cameras monitoring businesses and homes.
The way the site accessed these cameras is frustratingly simple - and something I've warned you about before. Many cameras come with a default password from the manufacturer. Too often, people stick with this default password instead of creating a newer, stronger one.
These default login details usually can be found in security camera manuals that are often also available online. Because there are apparently thousands of users of cameras who did not change these login details, it was only a matter of time until one website aggregated these cameras for everyone else to tune into.
The website didn't even need to hack the cameras. All it did was search for cameras and try out default passwords until it found a match.