The Tech Flaw That Lets Hackers Control Surveillance Cameras

The Tech Flaw That Lets Hackers Control Surveillance Cameras

A man sits at his laptop and enters his password in a dimly lit studio inside the BBC’s Broadcasting House in London.

Hacker watching his every keystroke from thousands of miles away.

The BBC worker then picks up his phone and enters the passcode. Also now in the hacker’s possession.

The ceiling-mounted surveillance camera, made by the Chinese company Hikvision, has a security flaw, making it susceptible to attack.

“I own that device now – I can do whatever I want with that,” says the hacker. “I have the option to either disable it or use it to view BBC news.”

Fortunately for the man under surveillance, the hacker is employed by the BBC. The purpose of this experiment was to see how secure some security cameras made in China were.

Some of the top manufacturers of security cameras worldwide include Hikvision and Dahua.

The UK’s streets are lined with an unknown number of their units.

Big Brother Watch, a privacy advocacy group, made an effort to investigate last year. It sent 4,510 Freedom of Information requests to government agencies in the UK between August 2021 and January 2022. Of the 1,289 respondents, 806 acknowledged using Hikvision or Dahua cameras; 227 councils, 15 police forces, and 35 councils use Hikvision, respectively.

A single afternoon in central London, Panorama discovered Hikvision cameras outside the Department for International Trade, the Department of Health, the Health Security Agency, Defra, and an Army reserve center.

Read More: How Long Do Security Cameras Keep Footage?

Source: BBC

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