Can Someone Hack Your Security Camera?
Even though it’s an alarming situation, you should not panic and sacrifice the benefits of having a surveillance camera for protecting your home.
This article discusses in detail how someone can hack your security camera and how you can identify and prevent it?
Can Someone Hack Your Security Camera?
Yes, your smart security camera designed for surveillance could be hacked. Like any other gadget connected to the internet, all security cameras are vulnerable to attack by hackers. Wi-Fi cameras are more at risk of being hacked than wired cameras. This means hackers can intrude on your privacy, watch you, listen to your private conversations, and record your movements without your knowledge.
Moreover, hackers can also get access to your laptop, smartphone, or other devices on your home network.
Basically, if you can access your security camera over the internet, it can be theoretically accessed or hacked by hackers. However, it is not the fault of the camera company. How your camera is set up on the network and using default UserID and password are the main culprits.
Aren’t you intrigued to know more about how to deal with your security cameras? Keep reading until the end as we will explore the intricate details of how security cameras are hacked and various effective measures for preventing cameras from being hacked.
How Do Security Cameras Get Hacked?
The security cameras can get hacked in two basic ways, including locally and remotely.
For accessing a camera locally, a hacker should remain in the wireless network range used by a security camera. Local hacks require a focused and dedicated attack on the target devices. Thus, they are not likely to cause much damage.
Once in the wireless range, a hacker can use various ways for accessing the wireless network, including guessing the login credentials like security passphrase or spoofing the wireless network and blocking the real one.
Some older security cameras in a local network are not password protected or encrypted. In these cases, hackers take control of the cameras and other IoT devices within your house.
Hackers widely practise remote hacks, and the incidences of remote hacks are more common than local hacks. Due to a data breach, your login details are captured by hackers who may be operating from faraway places.
If you don’t change your camera password frequently or use the same password for multiple accounts on the internet, your credentials are at high risk of being compromised. Unfortunately, there is nothing much you can do in such scenarios to prevent your cameras from being hacked.
Moreover, if your security cameras are outdated or using outdated softwares, it puts your privacy at risk.
Most of the remote hacks occur as people and businesses don’t change the default username and password.
Hacking By Accessing Default Password
Hackers look for IP addresses online and try logging in to break into security cameras. They can get the signature information from engines like shadon.io and try different passwords for accessing wireless cameras.
If your security cameras use the same passwords as default factory settings, it becomes ridiculously easy for hackers to breach the IP security protecting the network data. However, you can make it difficult for hackers by simply changing the default passwords for security cameras.
Hacking By Finding User ID
Another way of hacking into security cameras is to find the user ID. Hackers get the user ID by knowing the username, phone, or email used during registration. This allows them to watch the live camera feed; change the user’s phone, password and email; and even take complete control.
Hacking By Finding Command Lines
Hackers can also bring their malicious play into action by finding command lines. This command-line of code can be exploited for acquiring admin-level access. It usually happens when the users don’t install the latest firmware onto their surveillance security cameras.
How to Prevent Security Cameras From Getting Hacked?
You can prevent a security camera from getting hacked by following the below-mentioned steps.
Install Security Cameras with Advanced Encryption
To protect your and your family privacy from prying eyes, installing security cameras equipped with advanced encryption is essential. It helps in preventing easy hacks and provides enhanced security.
Select a router with WPA (Wi-Fi protected access) or Wi-Fi protected access 2 (WPA2) security for encrypting your data. Ensure that your camera’s in-built firewall is enabled to effectively monitor and control data coming in and going out from the camera.
Some of the advanced security features that should be enabled in your CCTV cameras are WPA2-AES encryption and SSL/TLS encryption.
Secure Passwords of Your Security Cameras
Don’t use default usernames and passwords for your security cameras, as it significantly increases the chances of getting hacked. Instead, ensure to use a strong and long password that is difficult to figure out.
Always use the combination of lower-case letters, upper-case letters, numbers and special characters in your password. Keep changing your passwords frequently and avoid reusing the passwords.
Keep different passwords for your security cameras and a Wi-Fi router. Use a trusted password manager for setting a strong and long password that you don’t need to remember.
The app and browser extension of a password manager helps you generate new passwords, save, and fill them on your devices like computer, tablet, or phone whenever required.
Ensure That Your Camera’s Firmware is Updated
Ensure that your cameras are running updated firmware with the latest security updates for preventing hackers from accessing your cameras. As cameras are not automatically updated with new software updates, you need to do so periodically.
Check periodically if a new version of firmware is available in the settings section of your camera’s app.
Download and install any new version as soon as possible. It helps in fixing bugs and keeps up-to-date features running in your cameras.
Turn On Two-Factor Authentication
If your security camera company is offering two-factor authentication, turn it on. It is referred to as two-step verification (2FA) and serves as an improved security measure for verifying your identity by employing an extra layer of security along with your password.
Using 2FA requires you to use a one-time generated code in addition to your password for activating or login into your account. Thus, even if a hacker guesses your password, he can’t break into your cameras without the one-time generated code.
You can receive the one-time code via email, phone call, or SMS. This can be set up on your account. Another safe and alternate method is to use an authenticator app.
Limit Devices That Can Access the Home Network
Regulate the devices that can access your home network by using a virtual private network (VPN). This provides effective prevention against any possible hackers.
Install Latest Antivirus Software and Turn On Firewalls
Ensure you have turned on the firewalls and installed the latest antivirus software. While firewalls protect against hacking, the antivirus prevents the attacks from viruses and malware like security cameras hacking software.
Turn off the Indoor Cameras When You Are at Home
If you are afraid of being watched, you can turn off the indoor cameras in explicitly private spaces like bedrooms or bathrooms. Alternatively, you can unplug or cover the indoor cameras when you are at home.
Get yourself a security camera that indicates when it is recording or doing live feed so that you come to know whenever someone is using the security camera without your knowledge. Use cameras’ geofencing capabilities for turning them off when at home.
How To Identify if Your Security Camera Has Been Hacked?
There could be various reasons that may result in your security cameras being hacked, including default settings, easy passwords, absence of security features, etc. However, it’s not easy to pinpoint the exact reason behind your camera’s hacking.
You should lookout for the following signs to determine if your security cameras are being hacked.
Strange Noises Coming From Your Security Cameras
If you listen to strange noises produced by your IP cameras, it strongly indicates that your security cameras are being hacked.
It suggests that hackers spy on you, watch your movements, and listen to your conversations remotely.
Abnormal Rotation of Security Cameras
If your home security camera shows abnormal rotations like following your movements, you can assume that it has been hacked.
If your security camera points in different positions or rotates unusually, it’s a clear sign of the camera being hacked.
Changes in Security Settings
If you notice changes in your IP camera security settings, it suggests hackers have control over your camera.
Check if the password and userID have been set to default or changed to confirm your doubts.
Blinking LED Light
If the LED light of your security camera is blinking randomly or it is turned on and off automatically, it indicates that your webcam security camera is being hacked.
Sudden Spikes in Your Network Traffic
If you notice that there are sudden spikes in your network traffic and changes in the data flow of your surveillance camera, it suggests the hacker is controlling your security camera.
Things to Do When Security Cameras Get Hacked
- When your security camera gets hacked, you should disconnect your camera from the internet.
- Scan your security camera system by running an antivirus program for removing trojans and viruses that may have infected the security system.
- Next, try to find out the loophole in your security camera system that may have allowed the hackers to hack your security cameras.
- Ensure that your security camera has the necessary encryption. Check to see if you have changed the camera’s default password, set the strong password for your home router, and install the latest firmware before your security camera is hacked.
If you have taken the above mentioned preventive measures and yet hackers were able to hack your security cameras, then you should immediately report the issue to the security camera manufacturer for identifying the bug and securing the vulnerability in the system.