Security cameras, how to secure them from hacker attacks

Video surveillance systems at the moment are among the main devices targeted by cyber criminals, here is a guide to secure them

They are called security cameras yet in recent times, given the continuous news of video surveillance systems being hacked or used to generate DDoS type attacks, users are starting to question their real effectiveness.

Most surveillance cameras nowadays are connected to the Internet and therefore part of the category of products that are defined as Internet of Things. Certainly, smart and always connected cameras make it easier to monitor the security of our home or business premises. But at the same time among all the objects on the market they seem to be the easiest to hack for malicious people. The fault is also of the producers, most of them, in fact, do not use adequate security protocols and do not inform users of the possible risks if the default password is not changed.

Privacy at risk

In addition to DDoS attacks, these video surveillance systems also put at risk the user's privacy. A hacker could use our cameras to film us and then publish our movements on the Net. Or blackmail us. And remember that the risk does not come only from the cameras in our possession. Today there are several IR or CCTV cameras available that allow easy recognition, with special software, of the faces of the people filmed. Even in poor lighting conditions. For this reason, users should demand that surveillance camera manufacturers pay more attention to security.

How to protect your IP camera

Of course, protecting all cameras is not possible, but we can start with the ones we own. First of all, you should regularly update the firmware and use secure passwords (changing them regularly). There is no common practice to accomplish these steps, but the process changes from manufacturer to manufacturer. To do this, just read the instruction manual or go to the manufacturer's website. Secondly, we need to disable all functions that are not necessary but can make our surveillance systems vulnerable. For example, in many cases the cloud service is on by default. And this is an unnecessary feature for many. We can then enable HTTPS access to the camera. To use encryption on our footage. Another very useful thing to do is to modify the home router to isolate the internal network.

How to protect a webcam

So far we have talked about IP cameras used for surveillance, internal and external, of homes and offices. But we also have the same dangers on PC webcams and other electronic devices. How to defend ourselves in these cases? Simple. If the webcam is connected via USB, then all we have to do is unplug it whenever we don't need it. If, on the other hand, the webcam is fixed on the laptop or on the screen, then we apply adhesive tape on top. Which we will then remove when we need to make video calls.