“How to do if my security camera has been hacked?” “How to do if someone is watching me through my home security IP camera?”
Security is a big concern for homeowners these days, with various TV programs and websites warning of break-ins, prowlers, and thieves roaming the neighborhood. Perhaps because of all this media attention, more people are installing security cameras to protect their homes and families.
When you’re one such person (or know someone who is) then it’s important to understand how to tell when your security camera has been hacked so that you can take the appropriate action when need be.
7 Ways To Know If My Security Camera System Has Been Hacked
It’s fairly easy to connect a security camera to your home as a monitoring system, and equally as easy for those security cameras to be hacked. Hackers can take control of your security camera, watch, and even stream the videos you are recording. If you have noticed something out of the ordinary you may now be thinking to yourself – my security camera system has been hacked!
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to know when your home video surveillance camera, the webcam has been in the unsecured IP camera list.
It’s important to be cautious of signs that a security camera is being hacked. Here are several ways to find out if your security camera has been hacked.
1. Voices from your IP camera or baby monitor.
Some signs that your IP camera has been hacked can be difficult to find, although if you hear a voice coming from your security camera, there isn’t a shred of doubt that your security camera has indeed been hacked, act hastily as someone may be spying on you through the camera while reading this.
2. Your security camera rotates abnormally
If you find that your home security camera is tracking your movements in an otherwise different way than originally configured, it’s once again quite likely that your camera has been hacked. Look for rotations, tilts, or panning which stand out as abnormal. This is relatively easily identified as it will tend to point to a different position than usual and look out of place, or suddenly move unexpectedly.
3. Check to see if other security settings have been modified
How can you tell when your security camera has been tampered with?
Review abnormalities within the security settings to see if you can spot any settings which may have been changed as the person who hacks your security camera may leave information that you can identify within the settings, the key thing here is to look for things out of the ordinary. Some of the proudest of hackers have even changed their camera names to something like “Firmware Update” – showcasing their hacking talents in a bid to confuse the user.
4. Find out if there is a flashing LED light
You can also check if your webcam security camera has been hacked by monitoring the LED light. If you see the LED light flashing randomly, it is likely that your security camera is being hacked, this is a strong indicator of a device being remotely controlled/accessed.
5. Increase in data traffic
Accessing a live feed from a camera requires a fair amount of data to transmit, which is another way to tell if it has been compromised. One way to determine this is by using your router’s advanced security and monitoring features to keep a close watch on spikes in your data consumption.
6. The password has been changed
When first setting up your security camera you’ll be asked to set a password that is unique to you, when you’re unable to login this is a strong indication that your system credentials have been altered by someone else. Most companies add another layer of security by forcing users to change their passwords after a period of time, keep a lookout for suspicious password reset emails – if you can’t remember doing this yourself, someone else may have done this on your behalf.
7. Login history
Thankfully, more often than not a bread crumb trail can be left when a user logs into software, which can later be used to identify if this was a normal login, or somebody else. Given that some home security cameras have options that contain a historical session log, this is often a tell-tale sign to quickly identify unauthorized access.
7 Ways to Prevent Your Security Cameras from Being Hacked
While no one system is impervious to an attack, some precautions can further decrease your odds of being hacked and protect your privacy in the case of a hack.
Here are several ways to protect your privacy if your security camera has been hacked.
1. Buy Security Cameras with Advanced Encryption
Use cameras from reputable manufacturers, whether they are part of a professionally monitored security system or a DIY device. Use cameras with high-level, end-to-end encryption.
And the best scenario is to get an IP camera from the top CCTV camera brand that enables all the advanced security features, including SSL/TLS encryption, WPA2-AES encryption, which keep most of the CCTV camera hackers away.
2. Change Your Security Camera Passwords
You want something long and complex, that’s not obvious to anyone. If you need a little assist, use a password generator.
3. Secure the Home Network Router
Some new routers support WPA3 encryption. Make sure it’s turned on. If not, choose WPA2. Don’t use WEP, an outdated security protocol. There were reports found that some new models still make WEP encryption an option. If your current router only has WEP or WPA encryption, get rid of it.
Turn off router features you don’t use that could pose a security risk: This would include remote access (often called Remote Administration or Remote Management) and Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). Many routers now have UPnP turned on by default. Unless you have a device or software that specifically asks for UPnP, turn it off, Consumer Reports advises, because “UPnP has a history of serious security vulnerabilities.”
Another pro tip to secure your security camera from hacking is to build a subnet for your home security camera system with an NVR.
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4. Limit Devices to Access Your Home Network
We also recommend that you consider placing your security cameras on a network of their own. Isolating your cameras to a single network means that if the cameras are somehow compromised, the hacker won’t be able to gain access to any of your other devices.
If you want to take it one step further, you can also use a virtual private network (VPN) to further regulate which of your devices will be able to access the network the security cameras are on. You may also opt to log any activity on the network to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is occurring there.
5. Upgrade CCTV Camera Firmware
Criminals are constantly creating new malware and hacking techniques. Hardware makers respond by pushing out firmware updates. If your router supports “automatic updates,” turn it on. If that’s not an option on your router, you’ll need to go to the manufacturer’s website every few months to check for new software. If the company has stopped releasing firmware, it’s time to get a new router.
There is usually a page that provides the firmware download links, so you can always find the latest versions available and get your camera protected. Don’t buy those cheap cameras without technical support to update the firmware regularly.
6. Install Firewalls and Antivirus Software
Installing a firewall between your Internet connection and all of your devices is one more way to protect yourself. This may require the help of a professional.
The firewalls help protect your security camera against hacking, and the antivirus software help protect it against viruses and malware, like the online security cameras hacking software.
Each time you do remote access, you open up a pathway between the device and your internal network. A firewall would provide a bit of protection.
7. Set Up Two-factor Authentication If Your Camera Offers It
This is an extra layer of security. You opt to have the camera company send you a single-use passcode via a text message, phone call, email, or authentication app that you use in addition to your username and password when you log in to the account. That way, if hackers crack your password, they still won’t be able to access your camera unless they also gain access to your passcode.
What to Do If Security Camera Has Been Hacked
First, unplug the camera from its power source. Then change the passwords on your camera’s account, on the app and to your router. Finally, contact the manufacturer of the device and local law enforcement.
- If you’re worried about someone snooping in on your home through your camera, deactivate it by unplugging the power.
- Change the password. Many wireless cameras have been hacked because its weak default passwords that are easy to guess. Set a secure password connecting three random words that you’ll be able to remember.
- Install all software updates. These provide vital new protections against security threats. Check the camera’s settings to see if you can set it to run updates automatically so you don’t have to remember to do it. Also, always run updates on the camera app in your smartphone.
- Delete your data. If you want to sell your wireless camera, check the settings or the manual (if you still have it) for instructions on how to restore it to factory settings. After you complete that process, you can delete the app from your phone.
Why Security Cameras Are Hacked
In many of the cases reported, the hackers just wanted the thrill of scaring the owners. But these cameras can be easily used to discover personal information or to capture images of people in vulnerable moments.
How Do Security Cameras Get Hacked
How are security cameras hacked? Generally, your CCTV cameras can be hacked either locally or remotely.
1: Default Password Access
Anyone looking to break into CCTV cameras can start by simply looking for its IP address online and logging in. By using engines such as angryip.org or shadon.io, they can obtain that signature information and begin trying passwords that will grant access to the wireless camera itself or, if a router is attacked, entire security systems.
In theory, this should be difficult and IP security should protect network data, but the shocking reality is that these passwords are often identical to the default factory settings provided by the manufacturer.
2: Find the User ID
When CCTV cameras are harder to breach, malicious actors can instead look for the user ID. This was easy to find in a cookie value. Hackers could then reset the account to take over and have full run of the device, its hard drives, and perhaps the wireless security system as a whole.
3: Finding Command Lines
A key flaw in some cases was a “backdoor” command line of code in the system that granted admin-level access when exploited.