Wireless Security Cameras May Leave You More Exposed

If you are among the thousands of homeowners and business owners who have installed a wireless video camera to monitor activities inside, beware. Someone else may be watching too.

The so-called "nanny cams," like the highly advertised X-10 Camera, are made to transmit an unscrambled analog radio signal which is sent to a base station in the home or office attached to a computer monitor or television set for viewing. However, there is no built-in security to mask the signal, which can apparently be intercepted by "hackers" up to a quarter mile away using software that costs under $250.

If you run a business and have set up a camera for security purposes, don't assume that you are the only one with access to the images. Anyone armed with a strong antenna and a receiver attached to a laptop computer, who is walking or driving past your house or office, may be able to peak inside and see what you see.

"Although there is no evidence that video snooping is widespread, it is so easy and the opportunity to do it is so great that it is a cause for concern," said Aviel D. Rubin, a security researcher at AT&T Labs, which identified the problem with the consumer product.

Unlike laws that prohibit wiretapping and eavesdropping on telephone communications, the legal system has not yet addressed the issues of tapping video signals. Therefore recourse against such video "snoopers" would be extremely difficult.

So if you own a business where security is an issue, it may make sense to look into security cameras that encrypt the images, rather than the consumer-brand cameras that do not. And if you are a homeowner, know that the camera inside your house may be sending signals outside the four walls of your personal domain.

You may like these other stories...

Cybersecurity is no longer the domain of an organization's IT staff. It's moved to the boardroom, and in a big way. Accountants and financial managers may have been thinking it's just the province of the tech...
Boehner addresses GOP priorities ahead of midterm electionsHouse Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Thursday delivered what amounted to closing arguments ahead of the November elections, laying out a list of Republican...
Former DOJ Tax Division head Kathryn Keneally joining DLA Piper in New YorkGlobal law firm DLA Piper announced on Thursday that Kathryn Keneally, the former head of the US Justice Department Tax Division, is joining the firm...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 24
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.
Sep 30
This webcast will include discussions of important issues in SSARS No. 19 and the current status of proposed changes by the Accounting and Review Services Committee in these statements.
Oct 21
Kristen Rampe will share how to speak and write more effectively by understanding your own and your audience's communication style.
Oct 23
Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.