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INSIGHTS

How to know if your home security camera is hacked

How to know if your home security camera is hacked
Knowing whether your camera is hacked or not is one of the biggest challenges with IoT devices today. It is hard to protect IoT and thus also security cameras from being hacked, but following a few basic rules, you can minimize the risk.
According to Martin Hron, Senior Security Researcher at Avast Software, knowing whether your camera is hacked or not is one of the biggest challenges with IoT devices today. It is hard to protect IoT and thus also security cameras from being hacked, but following a few basic rules, you can minimize the risk. To detect whether the device has already been compromised is an even more difficult task. But doing this is critical to securing your device. 

By naked eye, you can spot strange behaviors. For example, if the camera is equipped with pan & tilt functionality, you can see camera movements for no reason. Vitaly Kamluk, Director for Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) for APAC at Kaspersky, listed five signs to look for to know if your camera is hacked.
 

1. Strange sounds or voices

In some instances where a cybercriminal would want to make their presence known, they may try and communicate through the 2-way communication function. The majority of the home security cameras allow people to communicate with their guests on the other side of the door. However, if you happen to hear strange sounds or voices, otherwise, then that is your sign. 

2. When the LED light turns on

In case of an indoor camera when your LED light turns on in the middle of nowhere, that is your sign that something is fishy. The LED light on a camera that is hacked may act abnormally, changing the status light without any specific reason. If this happens, make sure you take steps to protect yourself. 

3. Panning or changed angles

While most of the cameras have an option of adjusting the security frame and angles, if you happen to notice that these settings have changed automatically, that should raise some concerns. Any change in the camera settings that is different from what you had configured is a sign of the camera being compromised. 

4. Change of Password

This is probably one of the scariest scenarios for a home security camera user. If you cannot log into your security camera account due to a change in the password that you don't remember requesting for, then that is a clear sign of your device being hacked. 

5. App login history

Your app login history can let you know in most cases of any unauthorized activities that may have taken place. Make sure you keep an eye on the app login history to ensure there are no breach attempts.
Other experts shared similar thoughts, adding that monitoring the data transfer is a reliable method to know of any breach.

"You can check if the camera changes the LED status light, makes a sound, pans, or tilts by itself," said Joe Tham, Co-founder of Simshine Intelligent Technology. "Another way is to monitor the traffic of the camera by using the router's tracking function. If your camera is transferring a great amount of data when you are not using it, it could mean that a hacker is controlling the camera."

Hron explained that the best strategy would be monitoring at the network traffic level. In that case, you need an additional device for network traffic monitoring, capable of spotting irregularities in network traffic coming out of your device (security camera or/and other IoT devices).
 
Such signs could be the camera suddenly connecting to IP addresses other than the original cloud, camera connecting to the other devices in your home network, or unusually high traffic coming out of the camera


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