PSA: 150,000 IP cameras have been hacked. Here's how to keep yours safe

Was your camera one of the 150,000 compromised?
PHOTO: Unsplash

A few weeks ago, the IP cameras of Silicon Valley startup Verkada, were breached by a group of hackers who gained access to some 150,000 cameras used by some 24,000 organisations around the world

Verkada’s IP Cameras have the capacity for facial recognition and can include identifying specific individuals across multiple timepoints or filtering individuals by gender or by the colour of their clothes.

Online reports quoted Bloomberg saying that they had seen videos from inside Tesla factories, Cloudflare, banks, jails, and hospitals.

In addition to the live video feeds, the hackers were able to access all the archived videos which means these business’s entire video libraries have been compromised.

The hackers did this by gaining root access to the cameras using a password found online. With this superuser access to the security cameras, the hackers were able to stream live feeds of every Verkada customer’s camera network.

Keeping yourself safe

PHOTO: Check Point

We spoke to Evan Dumas, Regional Director, Southeast Asia, at Check Point Software Technologies, on how consumers and businesses can keep their IoT devices safe.

5 tips to secure your IoT devices for consumers:

1. Try your best to keep IoT devices such as IP cameras and baby monitors from being directly accessible from the Internet.

2. Turn off the Universal Plug and Play (uPNP) function on your Internet router, and manually give permission to every connection established

3. Always keep the software on your IoT device up to date.

4. Do not use simple credentials.

5. When using a cloud provider, make sure that they support two-factor authentication.

PHOTO: Unsplash

5 tips to secure your IoT devices for business:

1. Segment devices to ensure that they only run authorised protocols. Most of these devices really have a very limited set of functions, so establishing basic restrictions won’t impact productivity.

2. Patch your IoT devices. Experts regularly uncover weaknesses in IoT devices. These can quickly circulate among bad actors who devise ways to exploit them and gain entry to your network.

3. Stay abreast of trends in the field. Pay attention to reports on your devices, emerging trends, and tune in to educational webinars to learn more advanced protection strategies.

While these IoT devices often seem harmless, you should never ignore anything that connects to your company’s network because none of them is immune to attack.

ALSO READ: PSA: Hackers increasingly targeting staff working from home with phishing attacks

4. Partner with an IoT solution provider to reduce IoT-related risks by performing a thorough risk assessment that can help you discover every IoT device connected to your network and assess each device’s security risk.

This article was first published in Hardware Zone.