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