A website has made 73,011 security cameras from 256 different countries available for viewing online, all by hacking the cameras’ default usernames and passwords.
Insecam breaks down the cameras into those operating in individual countries. The United States by far has the most with 11,046, followed by South Korea (6,536), China (4770), Mexico (3359), and France (3285).
The site doesn’t pertain to only one camera manufacturer, either. Foscam, Linksys, Panasonic, some listed only as “IP cameras,” as well as AvTech and Hikvision DVRs are all included.
The nature of what each camera shows is variable. Some display the exteriors of businesses. However, a lage number show livingrooms, bedrooms, and baby cribs.
One channel based in the United States even provides feed from a military installation.
While not necessarily voyeuristic, the cameras themselves show people going about their everyday lives—what many would consider a breach in privacy.
Ultimately, Insecam in many ways does not provide anything that couldn’t be found via Google or Shodan.
What is unique, however, is the way in which the site compiles all of these different feeds from hundreds of countries together into one place.
This raises questions about the intentions of the site’s owner.
On Insecam’s homepage, the site administrator has written a brief message indicating what users expect to see, as well as noting that those whose feeds are shared on the site can easily remove themselves by changing the passwords on their cameras.
This message implies that the site is at least partially dedicated to raising user awareness about passwords and personal security, including the dangers of using default passwords on home security systems.
However, the problem is that people who wish to have their feeds removed would need to know about the site first in order to do so.
For those who do not, their lives are available for viewing by all kinds of creepy voyeurs. And with Insecam running and profiting off of ads, it is reasonable to expect that thousands will continue to have their privacy compromised for the foreseeable future.