The danger of lax computer security has been exposed once again after a new website was launched in Russia that allows people to snoop and watch live footage of people’s homes and businesses via breached webcams, baby monitors, and CCTV cameras.

The Insecam website lists thousands of streaming videos showing bedrooms, sitting rooms, garages, shops, and other businesses across the UK, US, mainland Europe, and many other countries.

The site states:

“Sometimes administrator (possible you too) forgets to set the default password on security surveillance system, online camera or DVR. This site now contains access only to cameras without a password and it is fully legal. Such online cameras are available for all internet users.”

UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham has warned families and businesses about the dangers of hackers snooping on their activities and advised people to update their password and switch off remote viewing when it is not required.

When choosing a password, Graham recommends:

“Make sure it’s not one that can be easily guessed. Best practice is to use a password that contains a mixture of lower and upper case numbers, letters and characters – if you don’t; you’re potentially leaving your information vulnerable. This isn’t as inconvenient as it might sound, because if you are using a smart phone app to connect to the camera the app will remember the password for you.”

The UK government is attempting to get the site closed down, but the hydra nature of the internet means that even if this site is taken offline, others will emerge to take its place including some on the anonymised Tor network, which has proved very difficult to control.

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