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Over the years everything that’s digital has become exponentially cheaper, faster, and more efficient, including webcams. These devices have become so ubiquitous that there are now cameras in most homes and businesses. Unfortunately, these cheap little cameras have no security. Most customers simply aren’t concerned about them being hacked, so in an effort to save money, the manufacturers haven’t bothered equip these devices with any security protocols or passwords.
This state of affairs has led search engines like “Shodan” to launch a service that allows anyone to view these camera feeds in real-time. Shodan searches the internet for unsecured IP addresses, and makes them available to paid users of the website. There are webcam feeds of children sleeping, schools, marijuana grow operations, banks, kitchens and garages, from all over the world. Pretty much any location where you would expect to see a webcam, there’s an unsecured video feed that you can watch.
Make no mistake, this situation isn’t going away anytime soon. The whole “internet of things” idea that the tech community has been pushing for in recent years, hinges on devices that are incredibly cheap. Unfortunately, cheap devices often lack security. The smart homes of the future will likely be nothing more than human zoos that anyone can spy on from anywhere in the world.