Hack alert: Do you know who is watching your CCTV?

Hack alert: Do you know who is watching your CCTV?

Three young people sit on stools underneath a big red sign which reads “Media Zone”. The token man has his arms folded and looks bored. The two girls are engaged in an animated conversation with someone opposite. On the shelf behind their heads rests a big cardboard cut-out of a fellow with his arms out – these span the entire shelf – and it looks like he’s hugging them.

I’ve no idea who these people are, or what they’re waiting for. All I know is that right now – well, at the time of writing – they’re located just off the Strand in central London, the security camera filming them is supplied by Axis and someone has bizarrely tagged the stream “poo in the loo”.  

It was quite by chance that I stumbled across “Insecam project” a strange directory of global surveillance camera footage. This is “the world [sic] biggest directory of online surveillance security cameras,” proclaims the welcome text. “Now you can search live web cams around the world. You can find here Axis, Panasonic, Linksys, Sony, TPLink, Foscam and a lot of other network video cams available online without a password.”


Nearly 27,000 cameras from 126 countries and 38 locations

In fact, a count of the full list reveals live footage from nearly 27,000 cameras from 126 countries and 38 locations. These include coffee houses, airlines, swimming pools, farms, roads, kitchens and much more. There are chairs-on-tables at 2am in a Tokyo café, a time-delay cyclist on a beautiful dawn beach, while one lens pans in and out of blurred-boat-windows on a deserted Florida dock.

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If it were legal, would your organization hack back?