IP cameras are usually “purchase, install, and don’t touch” devices. But in the current climate of cyberattacks, they now require regular updates and patches. Otherwise your security tool may be hacked, leak video, or join a cybercriminal botnet without your knowing.
IP cameras are targets
Like all Internet-connected devices, IP cameras are at risk of attack from online threats. Recent attacks have shown just how easy it is to hack hundreds of thousands of cameras, TVs, routers, and DVRs. Manufacturers are working to remediate the known weaknesses by providing patches. But in most cases, the upgrades require the owners to take action.
Sony recently released new firmware for 80 models of its IP cameras, to improve their resistance against cyberattacks. They are not alone, as many of the biggest manufacturers of IP cameras, including Siemens and Foscam, have issued a variety of updates in the past year. Manufacturers that release patches are doing a service for their customers. Internet of Things (IoT) devices require continual updates as threats in cyberspace adapt. Our technology must also keep pace or fall victim.
We are all affected
All IP camera owners must understand their roles and responsibilities. It is up to owners to keep their IoT devices patched, including the computers and phones connecting to them. Having our devices compromised can impact our security, safety, and privacy. It can also impact others. A recent attack brought down much of the east coast of the United States when a major domain name service was attacked by tens of thousands of hacked IoT devices, including IP cameras. Such outages, fueled by IoT botnets, are becoming more common. By patching systems, we can protect ourselves and the larger Internet community.
Determine the manufacturer and model number of your camera. Visit the manufacturer’s website and look for updates and firmware patches. Follow the installation instructions carefully! If you connect via applications from your phone or PC, also make sure you have the latest software.
We are all digitally connected and all have a responsibility to do no harm to our collective communication resource, the Internet. Patch and stay current. We all thank you.