You probably didn’t miss the story which was splattered all over the headlines yesterday, regarding the Russian website (Insecam) hijacking British webcams (it even made the main TV and radio news).
In a nutshell, Russian voyeurs have been hacking into webcams with weak security (those still using the default password which can easily be looked up online, or indeed no password at all), and showing feeds from the cameras which includes footage from offices, shops, and disturbingly things like children’s bedrooms.
And of course, the inevitable has happened – this is the internet, after all. Reddit users have combed through the feeds looking for undressed or half-dressed ladies that they can snap screenshots of, and then post to Reddit, according to a report by the Guardian. There are snaps of women pleasuring themselves too, by all accounts.
According to the site admin, Insecam was created purely to highlight the weak security on these webcams – but it’s currently getting a shedload of hits which is doubtless pretty welcome for the owner. Authorities in Russia are apparently working to shut the website down, though.
Simon Rice, Group Manager for Technology at the ICO, warned: “With 350,000 of these cameras sold in the UK alone last year, this is a threat that all of us need to be aware of and be taking action to protect against.”
And Mark James from security firm ESET told us yesterday regarding webcams: “The end user needs to be fully aware that a default password exists with easy instructions on how to change it.”