Protecting your Information from physical or online theft that could only cripple a business if the internet were to fail? That is were we can help.
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Network or Internet protocol (IP) cameras are growing in popularity as a security tool to protect businesses and homes around the world because of their low-cost capability to transmit images or video feeds in real-time. By using these cameras, users can access live audio and video footage from their home or business through a smartphone or office computer as long as they have an Internet connection.
However, a number of wireless IP camera models are vulnerable to hacking that can compromise your privacy at home or in the office. In this article, we will discuss actions aimed at improving the security of IP cameras and ways to increase their protection against hackers.
Ensuring the security of your IP cameras should start during the shopping process. When buying your cameras, you should focus your attention on their security features. Here are some things to consider when shopping for your cameras:
Dependable Wireless Transmission
When buying a camera, you should ask for a model that supports the latest wireless security protocols such as the Wi-Fi Protected Access version 2 (WPA2). This will help ensure that the video feeds from the cameras are secured while they are sent to your home wireless router.
Secure Internet Transmission
When you want to access the video feeds from your IP cameras remotely, they will be sent across the Internet. To help secure your connection, ask for cameras that have the capability to encrypt your data including password, username, as well as the live feeds. You can also check these capabilities by checking the product’s label, researching the product online, or directly contacting the manufacturer.
Multiple Levels of Access Feature
You should also look for cameras that can allow various levels of access. This will let you provide several users with access to your camera feeds with certain permissions or limitations. For example, some cameras have separate settings for administrators and users. Under this set-up, only an administrator can initiate remote changes to the camera settings or take such actions as creating new accounts, changing passwords or adjusting the camera’s position.
There are various ways in which hackers can access or attack an IP camera. According to researchers from the security company Qualys, there are thousands of wireless IP cameras linked to the Internet that have major security vulnerabilities. Some camera vendors also provide tutorials on how to allow their devices to be accessible from the Internet, information that can be a tool for hackers.
Here are some techniques that hackers use to attack or access an IP camera:
Hackers can control a camera by utilizing the Shodan search engine to look for an HTTP header that is specific to a camera’s Web-based user interfaces. Cyber criminals can also identify and access a camera by looking at its vendor’s own dynamic domain name system (DNS) services.
Another method used by hackers is by exploiting a camera’s Web-interface weakness that allows them to get a snapshot of its memory. The memory dump usually contains such information as an administrator username and password, as well as Wi-Fi details.
Another attack strategy is by exploiting a cross-site request forgery (CSR) flaw in the camera’s interface. This can be done by deceiving the camera administrator into opening a specifically created link to add a secondary administrator account to the camera.
Another method is by implementing a brute-force assault to determine a camera’s password. Cameras without sufficient protection against this type of attack are vulnerable.
Here are some ways to boost the security of a wireless IP camera:
Regularly conducting software updates – Camera manufacturers regularly introduce updates to their products’ software to protect them against the latest vulnerabilities. You should register your camera or sign up with the manufacturer to automatically receive the latest updates.
Regularly monitoring your camera’s password settings – You should set up your IP camera in a way that it will require a password. You should read the camera’s user guide to learn how to do this and never keep the default password enabled.
Activating your camera’s security features – Check to see if your camera has a feature that allows encryption of data transmitted by Internet and turn this feature on. To ensure that your password and username will be encrypted, you should check that the login page for your camera has a URL that starts with “https”.
Create a strong password – You should always make sure to create your own password on your camera and avoid using the camera’s default username and password. Make sure that the password you make is very difficult to guess and includes both alpha and numeric characters.
Utilize a secure Wi-Fi connection – You should ensure that you are using a secure Wi-Fi network when using your mobile phone application (app). This is to guarantee that your password or video feeds are protected. You should also avoid using your mobile app from a public Wi-Fi hotspot which may compromise your camera’s security.
Also create a strong password on your phone or mobile device – To make sure that you have seamless protection while using your IP camera, you should also create a strong password on your phone or mobile device.
Learning about the available security features and implementing the previous steps in order to protect your IP security cameras against hackers will help safeguard your privacy. By diligently observing these tips, you can avoid a situation where your camera is compromised and ensure the smooth operation of your security system.
28 March 2019
WIRELESS IS NOT SECURE! REAL WIRE CAN BE HIDDEN ,INSPECTED OR TRIGGER AN ALARM .WIFI OPENS A BUSINESS TO THREATS FROM ANYWHERE .
You would have thought the U.S. government would be moving fast to kick Chinese surveillance tech out of the country. But despite a legally mandated ban signed off on a year ago, the Trump administration hasn’t been able to clean networks of prohibited Chinese cameras keeping watch over U.S. government facilities.
As of this month, all federal government bodies should have started on plans to remove tech from four manufacturers that are considered too closely linked to the Chinese government. They include telecoms giants Huawei and ZTE, as well as surveillance camera makers Dahua and Hikvision.
But at least 2,000 devices from those latter two companies remain on U.S. government systems, according to data from government contractor Forescout. An additional 1,300 Huawei and 200 ZTE systems were also uncovered.
Forescout carried out two separate scans for the Dahua and Hikvision tools, one a month ahead of the enactment of the ban, the other just a matter of days after the deadline of August 13. Little had changed over that period, indicating that, just as the U.S. can’t kick outlawed Russian software from Kaspersky Lab, the Trump administration is finding it tricky to root out and remove Chinese surveillance tech.
According to data from Forescout, which has been able to find banned devices via its government customers, there are at least 2,061 Dahua and Hikvision systems on U.S. federal government networks. That data was accurate as of August 19, and the figure is actually higher than the total from a July 11 scan, which stood at 1,797. But Forescout noted that the figure was higher only because it had gained more customers across government, not because agencies were buying more banned technology.
Looking across industry verticals, government appears to be the biggest user of such spy tech too. Manufacturing was the second-biggest user of the Chinese tech, with just under 1,200 Dahua and Hikvision tools, according to the Forescout data.
Dahua didn’t respond to a request for comment, but a Hikvision spokesperson said the ban had “potentially far-reaching implications for small and medium-sized American businesses.”
“We believe a standards-based cybersecurity process, as recently required by the Federal Acquisition Supply Chain Security Act, would better protect the federal supply chain and U.S. businesses. Hikvision is committed to complying with laws and regulations in all countries and regions where we operate and has made efforts to ensure the security of its products adhere to what is mandated by the U.S. government.”
Chinese surveillance “important for American national security”
One significant reason for the persistent presence of banned surveillance tools on U.S. government soil is confusion. It hasn’t been made “crystal clear” whether the law requires government agencies to remove the equipment rather than simply stop buying, said Katherine Gronberg, Forescout vice president for government affairs. As per the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), agencies are currently required to either have a plan for removing the relevant technologies or prove they’ve removed them already.
There’s also an irony when it comes to Dahua and Hikvision, noted Gronberg. Surveillance cameras perform an important function for many agencies. They are, after all, supposed to protect government sites from intruders. However, even while performing a national security function, they might at the same time be posing one because of their association with China. In such cases, the agency has to decide whether to accept the risk and keep the camera live, or swiftly remove it with the potential for disruption, Gronberg noted.
The Chinese manufacturers have known the ban was coming since Congress agreed to provisions under the NDAA last year. Huawei filed a motion in U.S. court this March, claiming that the NDAA ban was unconstitutional and should be abolished.
He believes that for the U.S. government the problem in rooting out Dahua and Hikvision will come in the form of “whitelabelling,” through which tech made by those firms is repackaged and sold under another brand name.
“These are inexpensive products, which is why they’re usually purchased, and the underlying software and hardware between Chinese vendors is very similar or sometimes even identical,” Matherly says.
“Organizations might not realize who originally wrote the software and designed the hardware for the device they purchased.”
So if you have one "Unplug the Ethernet cable today"