Farmers across Ireland who use web-based CCTV cameras to monitor their farms have unwittingly left themselves open to a massive security and privacy threat by not changing the default passwords on their cameras.
Footage from farm sheds, yards and homes from Cork to Donegal is being streamed live by an international website to anyone who logs on.
The website, Insecam.org, is described as the world’s biggest directory of online surveillance security cameras.
It is currently streaming footage from more than 70 security cameras in Ireland and thousands more security cameras worldwide that have not been password-protected by their owners. Irish farms, homes and churches are among the sites that can be viewed. Footage streamed by Insecam.org includes: Two cameras located in the cubicle shed of a large dairy herd near Youghal in Co Cork, with the feeding loader clearly visible parked in the passageway. A freshly calved Simmental suckler cow with her calf in Drogheda, Co Louth, along with calves in a neighbouring pen. A Friesian cow isolated in a calving pen in Castlebar, Co Mayo.The front door of a house in Belturbet, Co Mayo.A Charolais cow and her calf bedded on straw in Tullamore, Co Offaly.The altar and sacristy door of a church in Longford town.A feed store with a large bag of meal in Cork placed on a pallet behind a galvanised sheeted gate.
Directly underneath each video stream, there is an interactive Google map which shows the location of the internet service provider (ISP) linked to the camera, the address including town, region and country, as well as the longitude and latitude co-ordinates.
Listen to a discussion of the issue in our podcast below:
Listen to "Could strangers be watching your calving cameras?" on Spreaker.
The website allows anyone to search for footage by country and by various headings including farm, animal, warehouse, religious, home, interesting and warehouse.
The footage from Ireland comes from multiple camera brands, including Vivotek, Foscam, Axis, Defaway, Bosch, Mobotix, Linksys, Panasonic, Sony. According to the website, none of the cameras listed are hacked – they simply do not have any password protection.
The dangers of unsecured security cameras