A group of Vietnamese individuals involved in cybercrime is hacking into home security cameras of unsuspecting users and selling private and intimate footage on Telegram for a mere $16.
A Vietnam-based Telegram group has been discovered selling private footage obtained from hacked security cameras, showcasing what they describe as ‘dark corners’ and ‘hot scenes.’ Security experts attribute this privacy breach to poor password hygiene as the primary cause.”
In 2021, cybersecurity researchers at BitDefender debated whether Telegram, an encrypted messaging app, had become the new dark web. As the world approaches 2024, the significance of this argument has never been more evident.
According to details shared by security researcher Minh Hung, who first discovered the notorious Telegram group and published by Vnexpress, the group offers three packages for accessing the hacked footage.
The cheapest package costs 150,000 Vietnamese Dong ($6.16), while the highest package costs VND500,000 ($20.53). The top tier, ‘Super VIP,’ includes 4 years’ worth of hacked footage from hundreds of cameras and live access for VND800,000 ($32.84).
This group claims to specialize in hacking into “private cameras of families and shops in Vietnam” and invited Hung to join them on the channel.
Hackread.com also managed to identify Vietnamese-language Telegram channels offering malicious footage stolen from hacked home security cameras. The screenshots below were taken by Hackread.com:
On the other hand, according to Vnexpress’s report, Hung could watch the videos for the first and second packages, but with the third package, he could download an application from a camera firm and watch live feeds using the provided QR codes. Hung suspected it to be a scam but paid VND800,000 to check it out.
Hung further discovered that the timestamps on security camera feeds matched the current time. Using the application, he could access 15 cameras installed in clothing shops and spas, including bedrooms, living rooms, and dressing rooms.
Should You Install Security Cameras in Your Bedroom?
Installing security cameras in your bedroom raises significant privacy concerns and is generally considered a bad idea. The bedroom is an intimate space where individuals expect the highest level of privacy. Placing cameras in this area not only invades personal boundaries but also raises ethical issues.
The footage captured in bedrooms can include highly sensitive and personal moments, compromising one’s privacy and dignity. Beyond the ethical aspect, it also poses a risk of unauthorized access by hackers, as demonstrated by this article.
Additionally, such surveillance within the confines of a home may lead to legal implications, as it potentially violates laws related to privacy. To maintain a sense of security and privacy, it is advisable to install cameras in public areas of the home while avoiding intrusion into personal spaces like bedrooms.
How to Protect Your Security Camera from Hackers?
whether at home or work, protecting your security cameras from hackers is crucial to protect your privacy and security. Here are some vital tips to help you enhance the security of your security camera system:
- Update Firmware Regularly:
Ensure that your security camera’s firmware is up to date. Manufacturers often release updates that address security vulnerabilities, so regularly check for and install firmware updates.
- Use Strong Passwords:
Create strong, unique passwords for your camera’s login credentials. Avoid default passwords and choose a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Change passwords regularly and avoid using easily guessable information.
- Network Security:
Secure your home network by setting up a strong Wi-Fi password and using WPA3 encryption if available. Restrict access to your network by using a strong, unique network password.
- ALWAYS Change Default Settings:
Change default usernames and passwords on your security cameras. Default credentials are often well-known and exploited by hackers.
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA):
Whenever possible, enable two-factor authentication on your security camera accounts. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your mobile device.
- Regularly Check for Suspicious Activity:
Monitor your camera system for any unusual or unauthorized access. Regularly review footage and set up alerts for suspicious activities, such as multiple failed login attempts.
- Keep Cameras Offline When Not in Use:
Consider disconnecting your security cameras from the internet when you don’t need remote access. This can be done by configuring your router to block camera access during certain hours.
- Purchase from Reputable Brands:
Choose security cameras from reputable manufacturers with a track record of providing regular firmware updates and security patches.
- Secure Physical Access:
Ensure that physical access to your cameras is restricted. Place cameras in locations that are not easily accessible, and consider installing them at a height to prevent tampering.
- Regularly Review Camera Logs:
Some advanced camera systems provide logs of access and activities. Regularly review these logs for any suspicious entries.
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