How vulnerable is your CCTV system? Can hackers hack CCTV cameras?
Connecting a CCTV system for remote viewing is very common nowadays. As CCTV users, we enjoy seeing our CCTV cameras through i Phones, android phones, tablets etc. However, the latest research into CCTV remote viewing tells us that our CCTV cameras are not safe anymore.
What if a hacker hacks into your home CCTV camera? In order to stop a hacker from hacking your CCTV system, you should know how a potential hacker will hack your security cameras.
Let’s start by exploring how to hack a remote CCTV system.
How to hack a remote CCTV system
It is not common for hackers to target CCTV cameras. As most CCTV systems use built-in web servers or file servers, they automatically spotlight hackers. For example, retail environments such as shops, petrol stations and supermarkets use till cameras. If hackers can hack these cameras, they can get vital information such as credit card details, passwords for tills, how much money you have in the till, how many people work in the shop etc.
If hackers hack your home security system, they get information about who lives in the property and what valuable items you have, and in some cases they can also do live streams from your cameras.
How can a hacker guess my CCTV password?
Yes, you guessed it correctly. A human cannot make a wild guess and find your password. But a computer robot can. There are a number of software which allows more than 1000 passwords to be tried per second, and eventually they will find your password.
What makes my CCTV system vulnerable?
Now we know that our CCTV systems are not very safe, the first question that comes to us is what am I doing wrong?
There are a few things that you could do to keep your system not an obvious target.
Don’t use simple passwords, for example 1234. It is not difficult to guess 1234. And don’t try using 4321. Try using passwords with characters and symbols. Try using at least 6 characters, the more you use, the more secure it is.
Most DVRs need a port or number of ports to be opened. The default HTTP port is 80, and there are some default ports in your firewall settings. Try not to use them.
Many well-known manufacturers have good quality management controls, but there are lot of generic CCTV systems that you can buy from the internet that do not have the same quality management controls in place. These systems are easy to hack. If you end up buying one of those CCTV systems, think twice about setting for remote viewing.
What can I do to protect my system?
When creating a port forwarding, make sure your router logs all the IP addresses that access your server. Once this is done, you can manually check these logs. If you come across any unknown IP address, block those IP addresses and change your DVR’s password and re-check the logs. If you still see an outside IP address, report this to your hardware vendor.
It is good practice to change your password on a regular basis. When changing the password, make sure that you use at least 6 digits and include symbols and case sensitive characters.
Make sure the firmware on your CCTV recorder is up to date.
Turn off the ping response on the router and DVR. Hackers use this command to find your CCTV system online.
Encrypting is another technique used by CISCO and other leading video surveillance manufacturers to prevent hacking, however these systems are not very cheap.
I trust this article has been a useful one for you. Are you an electronic security professional? Or are you looking to start a career in electronic security? Why not visit our website and register for our newsletters.