Can Security Cameras Be Hacked?
August 21, 2023

Can Security Cameras Be Hacked?

The scary truth is that any device that connects to the internet can be hacked, and security cameras are no different.

Even the most high-quality 4K security camera could be at risk if both you and the manufacturer don’t take the right precautions and ensure that your system is not easy to hack.

Having your security cameras hacked is a terrible violation of your privacy, but that is not all – your outdoor cameras could be used to spy on your neighbors, meaning that it is not only your privacy at stake, and footage could even be sold or ransomed, bringing a whole new level to this awful business.

Even more terrifying is that once a hacker is able to get into one of your security cameras, it may make it easier for them to work their way even deeper into your system, giving them access to your Wi-Fi router, phone, computer, and Smart systems, which could even lead to them being able to hack your bank accounts or the functions of your Smart home.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to minimize the chances of a hacker gaining access to your IP security cameras, as well as the rest of your home and life, and you wouldn’t believe how simple and obvious some of these things are.

How Do Security Cameras Get Hacked?

There are a number of ways in which hackers are able to gain access to a security system, and some of them may even be your own fault, so please read carefully to make sure you are doing everything you can to prevent your security system from getting hacked.

Whether you have a fancy, full DSC security system, a few DIY dome security cameras, or a range of PoE security cameras, there are always risks when the internet is involved, and your smart security system may not make you as safe as you think, unless you make sure that you’re doing everything right.

Security system installers and technicians

In some cases, security systems have been hacked by installers and technicians who work for the security company, and who are able to create a back door into the security system when they install it. There is little you can do to prevent something like this, aside from using only a very reputable security company which has regulations in place to prevent this, as many do these days.

Local access

If a hacker is in your area and wants to hack into your system locally, they would have to be physically in range of your Wi-Fi network, and would have to be able to find, guess, or hack your password. If your cameras are old or out of date, they may not even have their own passwords, meaning that the hacker only has to get into your wireless network, and after that, will have access to all your cameras.

It is very unlikely that this type of hacking will happen to you, as the hacker would have to have a very good reason to target your specific property. Unless you are very wealthy, famous, or have something else the hacker wants, you are not likely to be a target.

Remote hacking

This is the more common way that security systems are hacked, as it is not you that the hacker is targeting. A good example of remote hacking is when a hacker scans a network for unsecured devices, or ones with weak passwords that are easy to hack.

Another common source of remote hacking is data breaches – if you use the same password for everything online, a hacker could find that password from a data breach, and use it to access your whole system.

How Can Your Protect Your Security System?

It is essential, for your safety and privacy, that you find as many ways as possible to protect your security system and cameras. Although much of this may be out of your hands, there are a few things you can do to secure things from your side as much as possible.

Be sure to buy a system with high-end encryption software

It has never been more true that you get what you pay for, and in the case of security cameras, this could mean the difference between maintaining your privacy and safety or falling victim to criminal surveillance. Look for a security system that has end-to-end encryption, and be sure to ask the supplier what other security measures are in place.

Keep your software up to date

Always allow software updates to run as soon as they come out, and never put it off. Security camera manufacturers are constantly updating the encryption software that protects their hardware, in order to keep up with hackers and other cyber criminals. The only way to ensure that your security system has the best encryption available is to keep the software up to date.

Never use the default username and password

When you buy your security system, it and each of the cameras should have a default username and password, such as “admin” and “0000”, or something to that effect. If you choose to leave those as they are, any hacker will quickly and easily be able to gain access to your security DVR and all of your cameras.

The minute the installers walk out the door, come up with new, strong passwords for each device. Do not use the same password for each camera – this will only make the hacker’s life easier. If you have a hard time remembering passwords, try using a password manager, but don’t save your passwords as a Word or Excel document.

Use two-factor authentication

This simple way of protecting yourself is already being used in many aspects of people’s daily lives, such as banking and logging in to private websites. All it involves is either clicking a confirmation link in an email or text message, or entering a code sent to your email or mobile phone, to confirm that you are the correct user. Some users find this complicated to set up, but if your security company offers it, you would be wise to use it.

Can My Wired Security Cameras Be Hacked?

Security cameras without Wi-Fi can also be hacked, but they are at significantly less risk than wireless cameras. This is because they would have to be directly targeted from their own location, and this is highly unlikely unless for the purpose of turning them off to prevent them from recording a robbery or home invasion.