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Google exposes web surveillance cams

Google providing access to unsecure webcams...

9:16 am on Jan 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thousands of security webcams, many supposedly private and confidential, are accessible via a simple Google search.

Blogs and message forums buzzed this week with the discovery that a pair of simple Google searches permits access to well over 1,000 unprotected surveillance cameras around the world - apparently without their owners' knowledge.

Searching on certain strings within a URL sniffs out networked cameras that have Web interfaces permitting their owners to view them remotely, and even direct the cameras' motorized pan-and-tilt mechanisms from the comfort of their own desktop.

The Register [theregister.co.uk]

[edited by: ciml at 1:04 pm (utc) on Jan. 10, 2005]
[edit reason] Fixed link. [/edit]

1:11 pm on Jan 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Interesting problem Imaster, but like other areas or privacy it's a cautionary tale of "Be careful what you publish to the World Wide Web", rather than a Google issue.
2:15 pm on Jan 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, Google isn't really exposing anything.

With a little ingenuity and a variance in search terms the same info can be gathered at Altavista, Yahoo, and MSN.

Granted, Google has more listings, but they're not the only one with the listings.

This is a webcam owner problem, not Google.

2:34 pm on Jan 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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so they write a story about this which has nothing to do with Google (not their fault) yet the ignore the 302 redirect issue. Hmmm...
4:37 pm on Jan 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I suspect they are only writing about it because other sites did last week - hacks following the pack:

Thousands of security webcams wide open [vnunet.com] - VNUNet on the 5th

Private webcams left unsecured on internet [scmagazine.com] - SCMag on the 7th

Def. not Google's fault. Lazy webmaster use of .htaccess, robots.txt etc.


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