In case anybody is in doubt, it is probably worth mentioning that the webcams you find here on Opentopia are not in any way hacked. We don’t have any sinister hacking department that tries to get around people’s password protections in order to get access to cams that they wanted to be private. Everything you see here is in fact publicly available. That doesn’t exclude that somebody might have made a mistake and forgotten to password protect their webcam. It is hard to know. Or the cam owner might have meant the webcam to be seen just by friends or family or customers who came to their website. But, well, nowadays, search engines succeed in finding pretty much all websites that are publicly available, and they’re available for search, no matter what originally was intended.
In brief, don’t publish anything on the Internet that you actually don’t want people to come and look at.
Recently some of our less principled “competitors” have chosen to go a good deal further than we would, into what we easily could call criminal territory. See, in addition to the many publicly available webcams, there’s a much greater number that are password protected, but the passwords are not too hard to guess. Many webcams come with some default usernames and passwords, like “admin” and “password”, and the user might not think of changing them to something more secure. Or, as is the case with many passwords, the user will chose something very easy to guess for their password, like “12345”.
So, an unscrupulous cam aggregator with a bit of technical knowhow could very well set up an automated program that locates webcams on the Internet, cracks their passwords, and then presents them for the public to see.
That’s not much different from cracking the Instagram account of some female celebrities and publishing their private nude photos in a forum for all to see. It is easier, though.
But, again, just to let you know, we don’t do that here. And we don’t think that you should either, even if potentially you have the know-how for doing so.
November 10, 2014 at 11:44 pm | Culture | No comment