Having your CCTV systems linked to the internet is common practice these days as it offers the home/business owner or security personnel the capacity to watch and also manage their CCTV systems from another location. Though you think you are securing your premises, somewhat alarmingly (no pun intended) your security systems can be open to attack if left unguarded.
A high percentage of web linked systems are prone to assault, either per-meditated, or by methods of automatic crawler bots.
Such strikes can leave a CCTV system ineffective by either corrupting or removing protocols, erasing video clip recordings, or by restricting accessibility to the unit. Additionally hackers and their malicious software and viruses can cause harm to various other hardware devices that are hooked up to the CCTV system such as DVR’s. In some cases your system may be used as a bridge to get on to your network and compromise other systems with vulnerabilities, such as your home computer or file server.
Why Would Someone Want To Hack Your CCTV System?
It is not likely that cyber criminals or crawler bots prime aim is to assault your CCTV system in any way, they are more probable trying to find internet servers or data web servers that they could get to. The majority of malicious web crawling software packages are created to find information and spread viruses.
You often here of fraudulent computer geniuses designing programs to covertly take over your computer. All this goes on in the background without you knowing. Software sneaks down your internet connection, many times even when your computer is switched off.
Then silently in the background it scans through your system and even installs covert programs. It is not uncommon to hear these days that hackers have been running full scale businesses from your computer without you knowing. They steal credit card details, sell fake software, peddle illegal material from your computer so they can’t be traced.
They hide behind a sea of undecipherable code and usually up to a point untraceable internet addresses and protocols.
Online Enabled CCTV Systems
CCTV systems are commonly connected to internet servers and have software built into them to connect over the web. This software allows them to be viewed across internet pages, and display video footage and pictures, and download or upload archived video clip footage.
Your CCTV system per-se might not be a prime target for a robot, but it could cause some significant harm to your system if it obtains accessibility to it.
Just how Are Web linked CCTV systems susceptible?
There are lots of reasons a CCTV system could be prone to an assault. One of the most typical being:
- Online connected devices utilize usual IP outlet ports, eg: port 80 (HTTP), port 21 (FTP), and also port 23 (Telnet), or the standard ports.
- All internet connected devices will send and receive data if a ping request occurs.
- The default password has not been changed or a simple password consisting of a word and not a mixture of symbols “0@ and capitaLS have been used.
- The system has not been secured by encryption so it is therefore open to be controlled from any external source.
- There could also be susceptibilities with the manufactures software or firmware supplied that leaves it vulnerable to attack. Yes even corporate giants like Microsoft and Ebay have been hacked into!
How To Protect Your Internet Connected CCTV System From Being Hacked
Lets find out how best to protect your system from online attacks.
- First up don’t allow your CCTV system to respond to a ping request. You don’t want any other internet device to be able to see if your device can “talk” to it. You will be the only one able to do this once you log in to your password encrypted software. Turn the option to receive Pings off in your DVR (digital video recorder) and also in your router. You can also change the port names on the DVR if allowed.
- If this function is not feasible, alter the router setups to utilize Port Forwarding, so that web traffic on a certain inbound port number will be sent to the appropriate port of the DVR on your network.
- As mentioned above modify the password on the CCTV System with lower and uppercase leTters + $ymbols- THIS IS A NECESSITY. Make it super complicated.
- See to it that you regularly update the firmware on the CCTV System to keep it up to day with the latest security threats. Manufactures will regularly update their software to counteract new threats they have detected.
- Configure your router’s Firewall software– Unless you want to give any person on the web access to your CCTV system. With the firewall program that comes along with your router you can also ban particular IP (Internet Protocol) and MAC (computer identification nodes) addresses from accessing your CCTV system.
The Curse of The Microchip
Thanks to the microchip which has had enormous benefits for mankind, there are always going to be a few drawbacks. Your CCTV system is now also a computer. It might not look like one but it can quack like one. It runs an operating system beneath the surface. It is either running windows or Linux based software. That means it is open to the same vulnerabilities as desktop computers and macs.
Follow the 5 steps above and your system and it’s hardware will stay secure.