New search engine lets anyone spy on your webcam

A new website called Shodan enables anyone to spy on your webcam, seeing everything that the webcam sees, such as the interior of your home.
So if you have a webcam installed either inside or outside your home, make sure you set a password for your webcam.
privacy
Jennings Brown and Adi Cohen report for Vocativ, Jan. 25, 2016, that a new feature on Shodan, the most popular search engine for the Internet of Things, just made it a lot easier for anyone to find your webcam feeds. And it’s even creepier than you can imagine.
Shodan is a website that scans the internet for publicly accessible devices and captures their IP addresses—creating a searchable index that includes everything from in-home surveillance cameras to traffic lights to fetal heart monitors to power switches for hospitals. Essentially, any device that doesn’t have a password is up for grabs.
Programmer John Matherly developed Shodan in 2009 when he was a teenager, and he originally thought his pet project would help large tech companies see who was using their devices. But now the website is mostly used by hackers and researchers. Until recently, Shodan was used almost exclusively within the cybersecurity community, because searches require a general understanding of technical language. But a new feature has made it easier for anyone to peek people’s home surveillance devices. The new channel includes screen grabs of security camera feeds along with their location.
As Ars Technica reports, Shodan members who pay the $49 monthly fee can search the full feed at images.shodan.io. A Vocativ search of some of the most recently added images shows offices, school, porches and the interior of people’s homes. Accompanying each of these grabs is a pinned map that shows the location of the device capturing that footage.
Shodan1
The site also offers free memberships that allow anyone to search through thousands of webcams. Most of these devices require a password to view the feed (Shodan users have written a few articles about the most-used passwords so that others can easily hack feeds), but many people don’t set up password authentication on their devices. Such cameras are easily accessed through Shodan, and many of them can even be controlled by Shodan users.
The authors of the Vocativ article tried out Shodan for themselves.
Moments after setting up a free account on Shodan, they were able to access and maneuver several security cameras within people’s homes, even moving the webcam’s views from left to right, down and up. Here’s a screenshot of the view from a webcam inside someone’s home:
Shodan3
Shodan also provided the general location where each of the live feeds were coming from, which means it would not be difficult to track down those homes and figure out when their owner is away.
So, if you value your privacy and security, set up a password on all your connected devices!
~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of
TrailDust
Admin
TrailDust

What an awful power to put into the wrong hands!

marblenecltr
Guest

1984 is coming to pass. I believe it has been in the wrong hands for some time, perhaps it was created by the wrong hands. 1963 helped make it possible.

japoa
Guest

Live by technology , die by technology

josephbc69
Guest

Yeppers. For a great early warning on this, get Dr Jacques Ellul’s ‘The Technological Society’ and go to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Ellul where they state that “His constant concern was the emergence of a technological tyranny over humanity. As a philosopher and theologian, he further explored the religiosity of the technological society.”

marblenecltr
Guest

Reblogged this on necltr and commented:
To whom it may concern…

trackback

[…] Original Article […]

stevor
Guest

wow, you get to be like “Burkhoff” on the old Nikita TV series!

josephbc69
Guest

When I was on Skype w/Dr Tom OBrien several years ago, he warned me that it was a two-way camera, and the best defeat was to put opaque tape over it.
It reminds me of a friend I had during the Vietnam War. He was part of a team that designed missiles that honed in on their radar station signals. The Vietnamese quickly caught on, so when a missile approached they’d shut the station’s power off and it sailed past them. A counter measure that was even cheaper than duct tape!

Auntie Lulu
Guest
Auntie Lulu

Unreal! I don’t have any security cameras and call me crazy but I taped a piece of black electricians tape over the camera on each of my laptops–so if they can access my laptop cameras . . . I hope they like a picture of black, just pure black!! I realize that I must sound like a nut job, but when new tvs can pick up all the voices, and noise going on in your frontroom–I just thought I was much safer by by making my cameras lenses blind.

josephbc69
Guest

You did the Right Thing, Auntie Lulu!

DCG
Admin

Our household has tape over the cameras on our computers, too 🙂

MomOfIV
Guest
MomOfIV

ditto that…tape over my laptop lens….don’t use skype either

Auntie Lulu
Guest
Auntie Lulu

I’m very glad to know that I am in excellent company, since I am not the only “conspiracy nut” to tape out the uninvited world!

Julie Pratt
Guest
Julie Pratt

Well, you do sound crazy!
But not to me, cause I do the SAME THING!! 🙂
(Just Kidding… you don’t sound crazy. You sound like someone who simply doesn’t want to be abused by their well-documented misuse of technology.)

Steven Broiles
Member

“1984” is a novel—not an instruction manual!

Seumas
Guest
Seumas

Best thing for a spycam (which is ultimately what all webcams and other such self-spying electronics are, or likely intended for.) is an icepick through the lens. I’d say the same for “shodan”, that is, it is a thing that should be unmade, and its assets better put to something that isn’t geared towards a panopticon. If someone has a camera embedded in something, their best option is to break it or to dig it out, if they never intend to use it… and of course any security cameras and such purchased should be wired directly to computer systems that… Read more »

joandarc
Guest
joandarc

Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this important post and for warning people to put in appropriate passwords as you have instructed above. I don’t use Skype nor do I have a webcam installed.

trackback

[…] Original Article […]