Leaked camera footage from S'pore homes sold online: Change passwords to deter hacking

Change your passwords now.

Belmont Lay | Tanya Ong | October 12, 2020, 01:24 PM

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If you use security cameras at home in Singapore, you might want to unplug them or at least change your passwords.

Security cameras footage hacked and leaked

Footage from security cameras used in homes in Singapore have reportedly been hacked and leaked online, with a massive stash put up for sale by hackers with future access also bundled in the package.

The footage appears to be from Internet Protocol (IP) cameras.

These cameras are frequently installed at home for security purposes and to remotely monitor family members, domestic workers and pets.

But hacked footage have since been uploaded onto pornographic sites, with some of the videos showing scenes that are recognisably from Singapore homes featuring people in compromising positions, such as having sex, changing, or using the bathroom, as well as lounging in the privacy of one's home.

Hackers teaching people how to access footage for a fee

The New Paper reported a group dedicated to hacking IP cameras was behind the hacks.

The group supposedly has almost 1,000 members across the globe and operate on social messaging platform Discord.

The group claims members can access more than 50,000 hacked cameras.

Footage supposedly stems from Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and Canada.

Members get lifetime access after paying a subscription fee of US$150 (S$203).

VIP members will be taught how to "explore, watch live and even record" hacked cameras through tutorials and personalised sessions, the group claimed.

Thousands of clips

As of Oct. 10, the group claimed to have shared more than 3TB of clips with over 70 members.

Some 4,000 videos and pictures from the hacked footage is provided free as a sampler.

But hacking is a very broad term that can sometimes be done using the most innocuous means.

This is so as hacking into such cameras can be as simple as logging into the devices using the default manufacturer password that users are advised to change upon installation at home, but failing to do so.

The usernames might have been retrieved using slightly more sophisticated means, such as retrieving the log from unsecured servers.

Not all footage appear real

Some of the footage supposedly from Internet Protocol (IP) cameras have been circulating on pornography sites after being uploaded by multiple users.

From the footage uploaded online, many are described to be "hacked" footage or footage from IP cameras.

However, it is not entirely obvious that all of the footage are real in the sense they feature people being exposed without their own knowledge.

A close inspection of seven videos do show interiors of homes that look like those found in Singapore.

Some of the videos explicitly claim that the people featured are "Singaporeans" or are tagged "Singapore".

But in one video that appears to be real, a HDB flat layout is instantly recognisable.

It showed the home's interior configuration where the bathroom is located within the kitchen.

One video accompanied by audio had people speaking in Singlish.

One woman said: "Close the door!"

The other replied: "Never mind lah."

In the videos, women of different ages can be seen with their faces exposed.

They are captured in their living rooms, using the bathroom, or changing in their bedrooms.

Some appear in their underwear, or half naked.

An O-level 10-year series book used by students preparing for the exam is seen in one video dated March 2020.

The authenticity of the clips cannot be verified as some of the videos might be posed or deliberate.

The date range of the footage, according to the time stamp, varies.

The most recent footage appears to be as recent as July 2020.

Some of the footage are old, with one from June 2019.

Change passwords

The Singapore police said the public should make a police report if they are aware of anyone engaging in activities, such as accessing the cameras of others or putting the footage online for sale or otherwise.

The public are advised to take precautions to secure their IP cameras:

- Use an IP camera from a trusted brand offering reliable security features

- Update the software for the IP camera as soon as it is available

- Use a strong password, and change it regularly

- Do not use the default password that came with the IP camera

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