The Korea Herald


'Unsecured CCTV Cameras' post fans privacy concerns

By Cho Min-jeong

Published : Sept. 5, 2023 - 16:45

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A screenshot of footage from an IP camera uploaded to X (Unsecured CCTV Cameras) A screenshot of footage from an IP camera uploaded to X (Unsecured CCTV Cameras)

An account named "Unsecured CCTV Cameras" on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, is raising concerns about the security of Internet Protocol cameras -- cameras that send image data via an IP network -- which have been sharing footage from security cameras.

The "Unsecured CCTV Camera" account, active since 2021, posts screenshots from security camera footage worldwide, revealing the location of the camera based on its IP address.

The spaces captured by the cameras vary widely, including: public streets, the interiors of shops, elevators, parking lots and more. However, on Aug. 2, a screenshot of IP camera footage from a private home was shared for the first time. As the image caption showed the home was located in "Seoul, Korea," it has caused a stir here.

The image raised concerns among users about the possibility of the screenshots being shared amounting to an invasion of privacy. The screenshot from inside the home -- which has now been deleted from X -- was widely shared in online communities in Korea.

While Korea has seen a recent trend of installing IP cameras at home for the safety of children and pets, the vulnerability of such cameras has led to a growing number of hacking incidents and privacy violations. Moreover, cameras with real-time monitoring capabilities, such as webcams, laptop cameras and smartphone cameras, have also seen an increase in hacking cases.

To prevent privacy breaches through hacking, the official blog of the National Police Agency recommends various measures, including regular password changes, deactivating cameras when not in use, keeping camera software up to date and covering the lenses of webcams or laptop cameras. The police agency urged that these precautions are vital for safeguarding personal privacy today.