Breached webcam and baby monitor site flagged by watchdogs

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Nov 21, 2014, 6:10:05 AM via Website

The public is being warned about a website containing thousands of live feeds to baby

monitors, stand-alone webcams and CCTV systems.

Data watchdogs across the world have drawn attention to the Russian-based site, which

broadcasts footage from systems using either default passwords or no log-in codes at all.

The site lists streams from more than 250 countries and other territories.

It currently provides 500 feeds from the UK alone.

They include what appear to be images from:

an office in Warwickshire
a child's bedroom in Birmingham
a home's driveway in Nottinghamshire
a gym in Manchester, a pub in Salford
a shop interior in London
The site's database shows listings for 4,591 cameras in the US, 2,059 in France and 1,576 in

the Netherlands.

WATCH: Costas Tsivicos of Foscam UK explains how the breach happened
Smaller numbers of feeds are also identified as being available from developing economies

including Nicaragua, Pakistan, Kenya, Paraguay and Zimbabwe.

Some of the feeds showed a static image but did not otherwise appear to be working.

The privacy watchdogs have provided the name of the site to the media, however the BBC has

opted not to publish it.

As well as setting hard-to-guess passwords instead of the default one that came with the

device, camera owners are also being advised to check their equipment and turn off remote

access if they do not need it.

One wireless camera maker, Foscam, reiterated this advice pointing out that it has altered

the software it uses to force customers to choose a new password in place of the default


The company condemned what it called "a gross violation of people's privacy."

"An analogy best describing this would be just because someone leaves their window open it

does not give permission for an unauthorized individual to set up a camera outside their

window and broadcast the feed worldwide," said chief operating officer, Chase Rhymes in a


UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said he wanted to "sound a general alert",

warning "there are people out there who are snooping".

He told BBC Breakfast: "It's got more than 500 UK webcams where there is a facility for

remote access to check what's going on in the shop, what's going on at home, how's the


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