Hackers exploit tech flaws, to gain control over surveillance cameras
Chinese-made surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the USA, forming a vast network that spans the country. Hikvision and Dahua, two leading manufacturers of surveillance cameras, are responsible for a significant number of these installations.
The exact quantity of these cameras on US streets remains unknown. Last year, the privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch made 4,510 Freedom of Information requests to public bodies across the UK to determine the prevalence of Hikvision and Dahua cameras. Out of the 1,289 respondents, 806 confirmed their usage of Hikvision or Dahua cameras, including 227 councils and 15 police forces utilizing Hikvision, and 35 councils using Dahua.
Several government buildings, including the Department for International Trade, the Department of Health, the Health Security Agency, Defra, and an Army reserve center, have been identified as having installed these surveillance cameras.
Despite the company’s claims to the contrary, these devices have been found to possess programming flaws. Once these vulnerabilities were brought to their attention, the company released firmware updates promptly to address the issue. However, these flaws continue to pose a significant threat to the security of various countries.
Panorama collaborated with IPVM, a renowned authority on surveillance technology based in the US, to assess the security of Hikvision surveillance cameras. Within seconds, they gained access to the studios where these cameras were installed, allowing them to access the information contained within and even observe employees’ keyboards.
Similar results were observed in an experiment involving Dahua’s cameras, demonstrating that hackers can gain access to restricted areas.
Although the company denies any state backing and claims that their equipment cannot interfere with critical infrastructure in the UK.
Experts assert that the UK must update and protect itself against these suspiciously installed technologies.