Now, thanks to a site that’s making extremely dubious white-hat claims about pointing out the dangers of not changing default passwords on IP cameras, it’s clear exactly how far into our lives e-marauders can get: besides feeds from baby monitors in nurseries around the world, the site allows strangers to spy on people via security webcams delivering live feeds from bedrooms, other rooms in residential homes, offices, shops, restaurants, bars, swimming pools and gymnasiums.
The site, Insecam.com, claims to tap into the direct feeds of hundreds of thousands of private cameras secured with default passwords from 152 countries – including, for example, Thailand, Sudan, the Netherlands, the UK, the US, Bolivia, Korea, and China.
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According to the Mail on Sunday, the site was hosted by a company called Media Net based in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau.
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In 2013, a cyber creep took over a baby monitor to spy on a 2-year-old Texas girl, to broadcast obscenities at the child, to swivel the camera so as to watch her shocked parents as they came in, and to then call the parents insulting names. Both the router and the IP camera were password-protected, he said, and the firewall was enabled.
But even if the equipment was protected after a fashion, the protection you get from default passwords is about as strong as wishful thinking and spiderwebs, given how easy it is for crooks to guess their way in.