View publicly available yet hidden cctv cameras: Yet another google search hack

The world is full of devices, which have a built in web-server. There are printers, other computers, modems, and what not. But the most interesting devices are IP cameras. These cameras, also a type of cctv cameras are installed throughout the globe in various places, offices, rooms, homes etc. can be easily searched with just a bit of googling. You just write the appropriate query in google, and here come a bunch of IP cameras showing you what is going on in which place.

How does this hack work?

This hack depends on the simple fact that these IP cameras have a built in web server. Different manufacturers make available different types of features in the servers. Some can give you admin privileges and let you really mess up with the camera settings, others can let you zoom, pan, etc. The camera owners buy the cameras and use them. They access them through the Internet, and since no one knows the IP except for them, so they think it is pretty much secure. But, the very vulnerability that remains is that they forget to disallow search engines to crawl the data the web servers show up. As a result, search engines like Google crawl the web pages and index them up. Now, a simple query will lead to the discovery of the camera, and one can easily view the stream by just typing in the IP in their favourite web browser.

The query normally consists of the type of page title, and the url it normally has. Although many manufacturers like Panasonic, Axis etc manufacture IP cameras, this article of mine, as pointed out below, will concentrate on Axis 2400 cameras. Enjoy the ride to the world of IP cameras!


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