As we continue to improve our homes with technology, the chances of a cyber attack increases as well. With remote working still ongoing for some organisations, employees have found themselves adding more tech gadgets to their homes. This includes improving their home network and also adding Internet Protocol cams, normally to monitor their kids in the room or for security reasons.
Little did they know how a simple IP cam can be easily hacked by cybercriminals and used to not only spy but also record everything it captures. Such was the case in Singapore. According to media reports in the island nation, security cameras in Singapore homes have been hacked and the footage shared online.
Clips from the hacked footage were uploaded on pornographic sites recently, with several explicitly tagged as being from Singapore. The videos, which can last from under a minute to more than 20 minutes, feature couples, breastfeeding mothers and even children.
The reports add the footage appeared to be from IP cameras which are common in homes in Singapore. On closer inspection of the videos, it is apparent that a group dedicated to hacking IP cameras was behind the hacking. The group, which can be found on social messaging platform Discord, has almost 1,000 members across the globe.
The victims appear to be from various countries, including Thailand, South Korea and Canada. A significant portion of the clips seemed to be from IP cameras in Singapore. The group claims to have a list of more than 50,000 hacked cameras that members can access.
In light of this, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore expressed concern over weak security provisions of many IoT devices. The agency advised users to practice good cyber habits, which include changing the default user passwords to a much stronger one. The agency also advised users to disconnect their IP cameras and disable remote viewing of camera footage via the Internet, when they were not using it.
While these cases happened mostly at homes, offices using IP cams can also easily end up as victims. Which is why users have to ensure they are vigilant when using such devices, be it at home or in the office. Cybercriminals can and have used similar methods to spy on work that is being done at home and there is no denying that this is one of the many reasons how they can access your networks.
IP cams are not the only IoT devices that can be hacked. In fact, any IoT device on any secured network with a weak password at home or in the office can be easily hacked by cybercriminals to wreak havoc.
Today, endpoint security for IoT devices are offered by many vendors. Many of course feel that home devices may not need security protection but this is where they can be very wrong. All it takes is for a hacker to infiltrate one device in your home and they will be able to cause a lot more problems for you.
The most basic step any home user or organisation can have is to ensure they have strong passwords. Avoid using simple, default and easy passwords. The more complicated your password, the harder it is for cybercriminals as well. It is also important all your security updates and patches on your IoT devices are updated frequently.