UK watched through Webcams

BY Rebecca Randles ON 20th November 2014.

The UK is taking international action to shut down a Russian website that is streaming images from people’s webcams, baby monitors and gym CCTV.

The site hosts live feeds from households all over the UK, including a gym in Manchester, an office in Leicester and a bedroom in Birmingham.

The UK’s Information Commissioner Christopher Graham has requested that the Russian authorities take immediate action and take down the site. Interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today, Graham said: “I’m very concerned about what this website shows and I want the Russians to take this down straight away … We now want to take very prompt action working with the Federal Trade Commission in the States to get this thing closed down. But the more important thing is to get the message out to consumers to take those security measures. If you don’t need remote access to a webcam then switch off that function altogether.”

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(This screenshot shows a bedroom, living rooms, a hallway and a driveway in the UK)

 

The site lists stream from more than 250 countries and other territories. It currently provides 500 feeds from the UK alone.

The site’s database shows listings for 4,591 cameras in the US, 2,059 in France and 1,576 in the Netherlands.

Smaller numbers of feeds are also identified as being available from developing economies including Nicaragua, Pakistan, Kenya, Paraguay and Zimbabwe.

This is not the first case of webcam hacking, there are many computer viruses where by computer webcams came be switched on by hackers. To stop this happening, make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date, regularly change your passwords; and if you are a business with significant amounts of personal or business critical data; gaining ISO27001 can prevent these issues.