How CCTV Security Cameras are hacked and how to prevent it

April 13, 2023
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In this post, we will take a quick look at how CCTV security cameras are hacked and how to prevent it. Since their invention, CCTV cameras, or Closed-Circuit Television cameras, have proven to be an invaluable security resource for any home or business.

Over the years, these devices have evolved to become high-end security tech equipment with multiple functions and access options. The problem with that though is that they have also become susceptible to getting hacked and taken over. If that happens, it could risk having security cameras that unknown persons use to spy on one in their home or business.

While getting one’s security camera hacked may seem remote and unlikely, it is a possibility. So, in this post, we will discuss certain steps one can take to further secure one’s home or business CCTV security cameras.

Why you need a CCTV Security Camera for your Home or Business

Before discussing how to prevent security camera hacks, here are a few practical reasons why every home and business needs them:

  1. It Provides Real-time Video Surveillance: Unlike CCTV technology from previous decades, modern CCTV technology offers owners access to real-time video surveillance from any remote location. This means you could find out what’s going on at home or in your office while on the road, or even on vacation.
  2. Prevents and reduces chances of Theft: CCTV cameras have always been a theft deterrence. Just like police on patrol, their mere presence tends to encourage people to behave appropriately.
  3. Better Data Tracking: Modern CCTV cameras can also be used to track the activity of employees stationed at sensitive locations, such as cash registers, inventory and storage warehouses, etc. Such tracking ensures companies experience less office theft, and increased profits.
  4. Business and Home Visibility: The basest function of CCTV’s are to record activity and provide visibility to one’s home or business. Modern CCTV’s can also be connected to monitoring services that report unusual activity and keep one’s home or business safe.
  5. Camera Footage for Evidence: Lastly, CCTV cameras can provide footage of what activities happened at a location. These could then be used to identify criminals, recover stolen items, and ensure justice is served.
How CCTV Security Cameras are Hacked

So how are security cameras hacked? While we will not go into the specifics of how such a hacking attempt can be carried out, here are three ways it could happen:

  1. Brute Force Attack: Since most modern CCTV cameras have online access available to owners, a hacker may begin here. The hacker would attempt to guess your username and password, trying multiple variations of what they think your selected password could be. The repeated trial and error attempt to guess and log into one’s security system account is called a Brute Force Attack. It involves trying multiple passwords, until the right one is guessed.
  2. Spoofing Attack: Spoofing is when a hacker attempts to gain access to an online account by impersonating a trusted person. For example, hackers could call a homeowner, pretending to be a representative of their security company to get a secret pin-number from one’s email.
  3. Backdoor Attacks: Backdoor hacking attempts are usually successful when there is a flaw in the security camera code. If a hacker is aware of the security flaw and how to take advantage of it, they could potentially use it to hack into the CCTV security camera.

Now that we’ve identified how CCTV cameras are hacked, we will discuss how to prevent security camera hacks in the next section.

How to Prevent Security Camera Hacks

It is interesting to note that understanding how security cameras get hacked is an excellent way to identify ways to prevent such hacks. In this section, we will discuss four ways to prevent security camera hacks on one’s home or business CCTV cameras:

  1. Update your Camera’s Firmware: Firmware is manufacturer code installed on devices that determine how they operate. Electronic devices like phones, CCTV cameras, and even printers have firmware on them. From time to time, these manufacturers identify security flaws to their code and release updated firmware to fix those flaws. One excellent way to prevent a successful hacking attempt on your CCTV camera is to update the device firmware.
  2. Use Strong Passwords: Decades ago, most online accounts did not require one to use a strong password to log in. Today, however, most online accounts will not allow you to create an account without a strong password. Just to be clear, a strong password is one that includes a capital letter, small letter, number, and special character. In addition, such strong passwords must be at least eight characters long. Such passwords make it much harder for brute force attacks to be successful by increasing the possible variations one needs to run through.
  3. Set Up Two-Factor Authentication: In recent years, two-factor authentication has become quite popular for securing online accounts. It generally involves first entering a correct password, and then providing a code sent to the email or phone number on file. This two-step login requirement ensures that whoever wishes to sign into an account has access to both the password and pre-registered email or phone number. In addition, it is an excellent way to prevent spoofing attacks.
  4. Restrict Remote Access: For certain businesses that need an extra level of security, restricting remote access could be another way to prevent security camera hacks. It involves setting up the device to only accept login attempts from pre-specified IP Address ranges. So, if for example, one tries to log into the account from anywhere but outside the company office, even with the right password, the login will fail.
  5. Seek Professional Help: Finally, the best way to prevent a security camera hack is to engage professional services. These professional services provided by companies like Access Security Solutions LLC ensure that all these issues are taken care of for you.

If you think your Home or Business security cameras have been compromised, you can contact us at Access Security Solutions LLC for a security review and consultation. For additional information on home security solutions, or products and services, contact us online, over the phone at 510-356-0083 or on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn today.