Security cameras are everywhere, but are they watching you?
A Russian website is finding its way into cameras in your home and your work, and live streaming that video for all to see on the Internet. Cameras in classrooms, doctors offices, even bedrooms are broadcasting live over the Internet.
We are not naming the website for security reasons.
"For all the good that technology does, the bad guys are out there taking advantage of it," said Arun Vishwanath, University at Buffalo Associate Professor and cyber security expert. "The most important thing for us to understand is we have to be conscious about our own security."
People buy cameras in their homes to protect themselves and their families from intruders, but these people may have missed a very important cyber security step, one that has hackers ready to pounce.
"When you get a camera, a baby monitor, a Fit Bit, change the default password," said Vishwanath. "That's why we call it cyber hygiene... a lot of diseases can be prevented if you wash your hands often enough."
The scary part about this website is, people are unaware this is happening. Vishwanath says the cameras that are live streaming most likely have default logins and passwords, and he says that information is public knowledge.
A quick search of the website showed us almost two dozen cameras live streaming in Western New York. When we showed Vishwanath the site, one camera caught his eye. It was a camera, live streaming the hallway of the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts. Vishwanath went back and told the University, and today that camera no longer is live streaming on this Russian site.
Vishwanath says what these people are doing is not necessarily hacking.
"They didn't have to do anything to get into these cameras," he said. "All they needed to do was use the default login and password that this product was shipped with."
Because this website is out of Russia, it is out of U.S. jurisdiction, so Vishwanath says there's not much the government can do.
To be sure this doesn't happen to you, it's important to change your default login and password on any of your cameras. You should also change your WiFi login and password.