Don’t use Cheap CCTV products
Cheap CCTV cameras broadcasting Australians’ private lives online
Cheap and poorly installed CCTV systems are broadcasting Australians’ private lives online. Beyond invading privacy, the exposed cameras are providing an easy access point for criminal hackers.
Security expert Robin Stenzel alerted 9NEWS to the problem: an open, free to access website that organises and links to any insecure CCTV feed around the world.
“This kind of device could be a gateway to a hack,” Mr Stenzel, the STE Advanced CEO, said.
“Once your computer is exposed then your network is exposed.
“That could be setting up ransomware attacks, installing malware, spyware, taking credit card details all those kinds of things.”
As of today, it featured links to 352 Australian feeds. Disturbingly, some provided a live feed inside people’s homes, businesses and backyard pools.
The Australian Security Industry Association Ltd (ASIAL) said it’s a major invasion of privacy. “People can be accessing information when they have no probity. We don’t know you they are, and you don’t know who they are,” Peter Johnson, ASIAL’s Regulatory Affairs Advisor, said. “Crime gangs will get that information and then sell it to people overseas. Then they can access your bank accounts. They can access your credit cards.” “The information is valuable to someone and we have a responsibility to protect it.”
Poorly installed CCTV systems are the worst offenders. Many of those we found online didn’t have so much as a password. Cheaper versions, designed to plug-and-play leave users exceptionally vulnerable as they actively seek out an internet connection. If that’s not encrypted, anyone could potentially tap in.
“A lot of those don’t meet Australian standards and shouldn’t be allowed in the country,” Mr Stenzel said.
According to the latest Australian Cyber Security Centre Survey, 86 percent of Australian businesses reported faced some kind of network attack in 2015-16. Fifty-eight percent had their data or network compromised at least once. Australia’s own Bureau of Meteorology lost government information in a cyber-espionage breach in 2015.Canberra has committed $230 million to improving the nation’s cyber security. Federal minister Dan Tehan believes the onus is on every Australian to protect themselves. “If anyone says they’re 100 percent guaranteed that they’re cyber secure, they don’t know what they’re talking about,” Mr Tehan said. “We’re now seeing the internet connected to washing machines, dishwashers [and] microwaves, so we’ve got to make sure that there are proper cyber-security settings in anything which connects to the internet.” “We’d like to see the private sector lead this.
“Make sure before you purchase, you check the cyber-security settings, and if it doesn’t, go elsewhere and look to purchase something you know is safe and is secure.”
Article Credit: © Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2017