Tech Updates

How to protect IP surveillance Cameras from hacker attacks

Modern technology has brought many improvements in various spheres of life. However, even the latest devices are not resistant to abuse, including surveillance cameras. One of the fact that the technology we use to protect people and property, such as IP video surveillance cameras , can be used against us. At the same time, the biggest threat is cyber attacks by hackers.

The possibility that something like this will happen is small, because hackers primarily attack brands, banks, rich companies or public institutions, but the concern that arises because of that is not entirely unreasonable. Namely, in just a few minutes, experienced hackers can break into any device that is connected to the Internet and is not adequately protected. It could even be said that with every purchase of any device that connects to the Internet – the user gives a new opportunity to hack.

Since all devices connected to the Internet are susceptible to hacker attacks, surveillance cameras are no exception. The good news is that users can take some simple actions to protect their IP cameras from hacking.

How can a home surveillance camera be hacked?

There are two main ways for hackers to try to access IP surveillance cameras when they are connected to the Internet:

Access videos from surveillance cameras

In order to access the surveillance camera locally, the hacker must be within range of the router through which the camera gained access to the Internet. Once within range, hackers run a program that will try to decrypt the password of your wireless router. If the password is weak, the hacker will easily access the network , and therefore your security cameras.

Another way a hacker can access your network locally is spoofing . In such an attack , the goal is to present a fake network as real , in order to lock your device that is connected to the Internet.

Every user of wireless networking knows that after the first connection of a device to a WiFi network, that device will not ask you to enter a password when reconnecting. Instead, the device will access the network itself

when it comes within its reach. On the one hand, this is a good thing, because you don’t have to log in again, but that way the device can be hacked through so-called “spoofing”.

Hackers often attack wireless networks by simply creating a new spoof network where they copy the SSID (Service Set Idnetifier).  In this way, computers and other devices are automatically connected to the “spoof” network instead of the real network.

Another way is remote hacking, and it is, when it comes to home video surveillance, a more likely scenario. Remote hacking is defined as malicious action that targets one or a network of Internet devices. In remote hacking, a hacker finds vulnerabilities in the device, ie in the network security software from where he accesses the machine or system. When a surveillance camera transmits a video signal over the Internet, that signal can be attacked by hackers via a password.

There is not much you can do to prevent remote attacks, except for one thing and that is frequent password changes .

Take control of the surveillance camera connection

Another way hackers “hack” into devices connected to the Internet is to download them because of the botnet. A botnet is a group of networked computers infected with malware (viruses) that are controlled by hackers without the knowledge of the owners of those devices. In this way, hackers can attack other seemingly harmless devices such as printers and DVRs for video surveillance .

The goal of such hacking is not to steal material recorded on IP security cameras, but to take over the Internet connection and to use the power of the processor for other purposes, most often for a DDoS attack .  More than 1,000 devices often take part in such attacks. They can target a variety of important resources, from bank sites to news web portals, and pose a major security challenge for people, as they allow hackers to access important personal information from online users, such as a bank customer.

How do you know if a home surveillance camera has been hacked?

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to know when one of the devices connected to the Internet was secretly hacked. A potential warning may be that connected surveillance cameras will run slower , with poorer performance.

When a hacker takes control of a surveillance camera, the camera processor becomes overloaded , which can interfere with normal camera operation. Of course, malfunctions, such as signal interference, signal interruption, etc., can simply be the result of a weak connection or a weak signal, and do not necessarily indicate hacking. But if there are sudden and continuous declines in performance and disruptions in the operation of surveillance camera systems , it would be good to initiate some protective measures.

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