The webcam you’re using to monitor your home or child could easily be accessed by strangers using a simple hacking app.
According to Mashable, an app can be purchased that could easily allow you to hack someone’s connected web camera and spy on them. The app costs 188 Yuan, or $28.
The software will scan IP addresses for weak passwords and give just about anyone access to a camera that is connected to the internet.
This potentially malicious software has become a popular topic in Chinese online chat rooms such as QQ Messenger. Lists with up to 400 cameras that have already been hacked along with their login credentials are posted in the chat rooms and are available for download, according to CCTV.
While it might seem obvious, the easiest way to avoid this type of cyber-hacking is to make sure your device has a secure password. It can be easy to forget to set up a strong password when you’re in a rush to get your device online. It’s best to avoid using the default password and it is advised to keep your device’s firmware updated.
“Once you have unpacked a brand new internet-connected piece of hardware, spend a little time playing with its configuration,” Eugene Aseev, vice-president of engineering at data protection firm Acronis told Mashable.” “Common default unchanged [passwords] on thousands of devices…is a primary flaw that is being leveraged by attackers,” he added.
Although this particular issue was recently reported in China, it doesn’t mean users in the U.S. shouldn’t be worried.
If you have a web camera connected to the internet, and you’re still using the default password or no password at all, then your device could be compromised by someone else.