Israelis told to secure their home security cameras against hackers

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
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Israelis told to secure their home security cameras against hackers

The Government of Israel has told the owners of private home security cameras to urgently secure them against being hacked.

The advice, which is being given in the wake of a dramatic heightening of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, was published in Hebrew in the form of four steps, which can be summed up as:

  1. Change the camera’s admin password.
  2. Enable two-step verificiation if avaialble
  3. Configure automatic security updates in the camera.
  4. If you are having problems changing your camera’s settings, “simply cover the camera or disconnect from the electricity temporarily.”

Yes, they appear to be saying that it can actually be better for security to have your security camera turned off.

Webcam advisory from Israeli government

Vulnerable internet-connected cameras could allow an unauthorised party to spy, invade people’s privacy, make notes of their daily routines, or record confidential conversations. They can also provide a foothold for malicious hackers to penetrate networks and spread laterally to compromise other systems and steal data.

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Although such breaches are serious on a personal level, the consequences can also be grave for organisations and government facilities. And then, of course, there’s the potential of someone’s doorbell camera unintentionally revealing the movement of miliary forces.

Last week, Cybernews reported how it had found at least 165 exposed internet-connected cameras in Israel and 29 in Palestine, which were open and accessible to anyone.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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