MWC 2017: '22,000 hackable webcams in Barcelona'

MWC 2017: '22,000 hackable webcams in Barcelona'

A leading security company says it has discovered 22,000 hackable internet-connected baby monitors and other types of webcam in Barcelona.

Avast carried out the check to coincide with the first day of the Mobile World Congress trade show in the city.

In addition, it said it had found more than 470,000 other types of vulnerable smart devices.

The firm warned that unsuspecting owners could be spied upon as a consequence.

"If webcams are set to livestream for example, hackers or anyone can connect making it easy for cybercriminals to spy on... oblivious school pupils, workers or citizens nearby," said the firm's chief executive Vince Steckler in a statement.


"[But] what is far more likely is the possibility of a cyber-crook hijacking an insecure webcam, coffee machine or smart TV to turn it into a bot which, as part of a wider botnet, could be used in co-ordinated attacks on servers to take down major websites."

Avast used the connected-objects search engine Shodan to identify the devices.

It said to qualify they needed to either:

It carried out the study to help promote its own security tools.

But another independent expert said he thought the public needed to be aware of the threat.

"This research underlines just how easy it is to locate potentially vulnerable 'smart' devices and how they might be compromised," said Ken Munro, from the cybersecurity testing specialists Pen Test Partners.

"That's not to say that all internet-connected devices can be easily compromised; for example some more recent kettles, coffee machines and fridges are much harder to hack than earlier models.

"But consumers should exercise caution with smart devices. Ask yourself first if you actually need that device, then think about what data it might collect about you and expose.

"For example, baby monitors with video and two-way audio would obviously be more concerning than a simple audio-only device."



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Carmarthenshire mum-to-be gets armed escort to hospital

Carmarthenshire mum-to-be gets armed escort to hospital..

29-May, 12:00

Armed officers who spotted a speeding car in west Wales discovered a...

US lawmakers seek to reverse Trump’s $110bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia

US lawmakers seek to reverse Trump’s $110bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia..

29-May, 07:48

Top Republicans and Democrats in Congress have called for the...

Emmerdale's Lucy Pargeter introduces twin baby daughters Missy Mabel and Betsey Maggie and reveals terrifying moment at birth when babies 'weren't breathing'

Emmerdale's Lucy Pargeter introduces twin baby daughters Missy Mabel and Betsey Maggie and..

29-May, 11:24

In an exclusive shoot and interview with OK! Magazine, Lucy Pargeter...

Improving wheat yields by increasing grain size, weight

Improving wheat yields by increasing grain size, weight..

29-May, 11:48

Larger, heavier wheat kernels -- that's how associate professor Wanlong...

Former Hillary Clinton aide writing memoir

Former Hillary Clinton aide writing memoir..

19-Apr, 18:16

A former Hillary Clinton aide and speechwriter is writing a book about...

Marathon Oil and Community Health skid; MoneyGram soars

Marathon Oil and Community Health skid; MoneyGram soars..

14-Mar, 17:18

Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily on Tuesday: MoneyGram...

Seoul: North Korea fires ballistic missile off east coast

Seoul: North Korea fires ballistic missile off east coast..

04-Apr, 19:24

South Korea says North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into the...

O'Reilly apologizes for jest about Maxine Waters' hair

O'Reilly apologizes for jest about Maxine Waters' hair..

29-Mar, 09:40

Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly apologized Tuesday for saying he had a...