Belgium’s Federal Police have acknowledged that Belgian security cameras could be among those whose contents have been streamed illegally by the Russian site Insecam.org, but blames the proprietors of the hacked cameras for not protecting them with strong passwords. “They practically deliver the images to all and sundry,” police spokesman Peter De Waele said.
“Strictly speaking, it’s a case of piracy,” De Waele admitted, “but the owners of the cameras concerned make the work very easy. They don’t use passwords or keep a standard one installed on each new camera.”
The Federal Police spokesman said this was just as negligent as leaving a brand new computer in a garden. If someone takes it, that is robbery, strictly speaking, but the owner could not really be surprised that it was stolen. «The online hackers only have to open the camera’s user instructions to know the password which, in most cases, is no more complicated that ‘1,2,3,4’, » he said.
The Federal Police have called on all owners of private security cameras to use sufficiently complex personal passwords, which would prevent thieves and other criminals from spying on them on line, and knowing when they leave their homes.
The Center for Cyber Security plans to make contact with the owners of the breached cameras. “Once they’ve installed a new password, the footage will no longer be visible to the public,” says the centre’s spokesman, Andries Bomans.