More than 100,000 wireless cameras in UK homes are hackable, Which? claims

It is estimated that more than 100,000 hackable wireless cameras are active in homes across the UK. Which? warned about it.

According to the consumer group, dozens of camera brands from China-based HiChip are affected by various flaws, including vulnerabilities in the devices themselves and an associated app to access them.

They claim that the problem could be exploited by someone to determine where the user lives, address other devices connected to their broadband, and even provide access to live footage and speak through the camera's microphone.

It is also believed that an attacker can perform these activities even if the owner changes their password.

A security expert tested five Accfly, Elite Security, ieGeek, Genbolt, and SV3C wireless cameras, all available on popular online marketplaces, and found that they were affected by the bug.

Next, which one? 47 camera brands worldwide are at risk, of which 32 are currently or previously sold in the UK. Therefore, anyone who thinks their camera may be affected advises to stop using it immediately.

Identified brands include Alptop, Besdersec, COOAU, CPVAN, Ctronics, Dericam, Jennov, LEFTEK, Luowice, QZT and Tenvis.

Experts believe that any wireless camera that uses an app called CamHi could be compromised.

HiChip based in China is behind many of these camera brands as well as the CamHi app.

The company responded to the investigation, saying that its devices pose a "very low security risk" because all data between the camera and the app is encrypted.

Which? According to HiChip, the company is committed to working with experts to improve security.

The weakness lies in the unique identification numbers (UID) of the devices, which can often be found on a sticker on the side of the cameras and can be easily identified and targeted by bad actors.

Amazon package
Around two-thirds of the brands sold in the country are currently available on Amazon's UK website. Which? says (Chris Radburn / PA)

This allows hackers to track users of the CamHi app when they connect to their camera, stealing the device username and password and using these details to gain full access to the camera without the user's knowledge.

"People may think they can buy a cheap wireless camera that can provide a sense of security – although they could inadvertently invite hackers to their home or work," said Kate Bevan, Which? Computer editor.

“Anyone who has one of these cameras at home should turn it off and stop using it immediately, while all consumers should be careful when shopping – cheap is not always in a good mood, especially when it comes to unknown brands.

"The government needs to push ahead with plans to legislate that connected devices must meet certain security standards and ensure that this is supported by strict enforcement."

Around two thirds (23) of the brands sold in the country are currently available on Amazon's UK website.

The consumer group said Amazon has previously refused to remove any after it was raised.

More than half (19) of the brands are offered for sale on eBay. According to the cameras, "all are legal to sell in the UK and comply with our existing guidelines".

"We recommend that people who buy a wireless camera product on eBay take appropriate security measures, just as they do with smart home devices, online email, or social media accounts," the company said .

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