Identity Thieves – So Many Opportunities

I’ve just finished installing a monitor and a few cameras in a friend’s takeway.  He’s convinced that one of his staff have their hands in the till but it not sure who it is, so he rushed out and bought a few cameras and a monitor then had no idea how to set them up. So he called me….

I’m no expert on these things, but it wasn’t very difficult to set up and I even got the internet enabled  bit working.  Yep the camera’s he chose were also accessible from the internet.  So the upshot is he spend half his time fueling his paranoia and watching these cameras looking for foul play.  Seems to spoil most of his holidays looking at his shop and staff on his phone and laptop as well, so far no evidence of criminal behaviour detected!

Anyway it’s interesting, these are not expensive cameras but offer a very detailed video feed and you can even move them remotely over the net using the admin interface.  It’s just another opportunity to be spied on….

The internet is becoming a digital heaven for all the stalkers, snoopers  and more worryingly the identity thieves.

Here’s an example –

Fire up a Google session and type the following in the search bar


 You’ll get returned a huge list of directories containing digital photographs.  These have been dumped onto computers, servers, web space  all which are accessible from the internet with no restrictions or security on the vast majority.

So it’s just a Duck !

So here’s one I picked from a directory entitled ‘personal pictures of family – ok it’s just a duck with a weird hair do,  I didn’t want to post their actual pictures even if they are easily accessible.  The vast majority of the photos are just normal everyday stuff  of a family based in France, but contained in their directories are lots of photos of the family, especially the kids.  If you look through the other directories on this web site – just by clicking around (not hacking) then you can find out their address, occupation and all their names.  This took five minutes – imagine what a professional identity thief could achieve in an hour with specialist tools.

But don’t take my word for it, try it out – click through the directories and the thousands of photos and ask yourself this question –

Did the owners intend for all these photos to be accessible to everyone on the internet?

I’m pretty sure they didn’t, just like my friend was altogether impressed when he found out that not only him but anyone could access his shop cameras online as well (the reason the admin password was blank by default).

Here’s some other searches which will show you online video cameras accessible on the internet.

camera – user login”


SNC-RZ30 Home

These are popular online cameras from Toshiba, Panasonic  and Sony – have a click through the results and see what you think.  Many of these cameras are intended to be public as a service or just promotional but do you think all of them?  Many of them inside offices or back entrances of secure properties or residential houses.

People are simply unaware of how much of their lives ends up online – which is pretty scary.  Often an online theft will start off from one of these little trails of information – combine this with all the other information sources the bad guys are using – yes I include the thousands of new proxies that arrive on the internet every day which are nothing more than hackers honey pots !