IP cameras are usually a purchase, install, and don’t-touch type of device. But in the current climate of cyber-attacks, they now require regular updates and patches. Otherwise your security tool may be hacked, leak video, or join a cybercriminal botnet without you 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, TV’s, routers, and DVR’s. Manufacturers are working to remediate the known weaknesses by providing patches. But in most cases, it requires the owners to take action and install the updates.
Sony recently released new firmware for 80 different models of its IP cameras, to improve their resistance against cyberattacks. They are not alone, as many of the biggest manufacturers of IP cameras have issued a variety of updates in the past year, including Siemens and Foscam. Manufacturers which release patches are doing a service for their customers. Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices require continual updates as threats in cyberspace change and adapt. Our technology must also keep pace or fall victim.
We Are All Effected
All IP camera owners must understand their role and responsibilities. It is up to them 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. Additionally, it can impact others. A recent attack brought down much of the Eastern coast of the U.S. as a major Domain Naming Service (DNS) 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, it is a way to protect yourself and the larger Internet community.
So, Get Patching!
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.