We've been pleading people for as long as we've been around to commit to changing their usernames and passwords and not to use the default accounts. Why? TechCrunch, among many others now, has recently published an article that demonstrates exactly why.
It would appear that, for some time now, Insecam has been scouring the internet in search of people who have setup their systems for remote access and are still using the default accounts and passwords. TechCrunch goes on in their article to state that Insecam has located, and linked to from their website, approximately 73,000 cameras worldwide. Let that number sink in for a moment. We should mention that Insecam isn't meant to be malicious, but actually intended to teach the world a lesson.
“Sometimes administrator (possible you too) forgets to change default password like 'admin:admin' or 'admin:12345' on security surveillance system, online camera or DVR. Such online cameras are available for all internet users. Here you can see thousands of such cameras located in a cafes, shops, malls, industrial objects and bedrooms of all countries of the world. To browse cameras of the world just select the country or camera type.
This site has been designed in order to show the importance of the security settings. To remove your public camera from this site and make it private the only thing you need to do is to change your camera password.”
Some people may view this site as a huge violation of personal privacy and that very well may be, but the fact is that it should do more than just make you mad. Insecam perfectly demonstrates how easy people make it to have their own privacy intruded upon to the point where some people would tell you that you’re asking for it.
How did we get here?
By far, the most common reason people don’t alter user account and passwords is pure laziness. Rather than spend sixty seconds resolving this enormous security risk, it’s always going to be easier to just do nothing. Over the years, we've encountered this exact problem on a handful of occasions, and we are not sorry to say, you’ll get no sympathy from us.
There is still no excuse for our next big reason. A lack of knowledge of the products themselves can make the whole process seem intimidating; so much in fact that by the time people get their cameras up and running, all they want to do is call the job finished and run away. We can certainly understand the confusion and frustration that you may encounter during an installation, but the fact remains that this is a type of security system and without taking all the proper steps, the whole thing can actually work in the complete opposite direction.