Unprotected web cameras
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If you've ever wanted to spy on other people at their computers, this video will show you how to use Google to hack unprotected webcams.
All you have to do is enter the following into Google's search bar: /view/index.shtml And a list of cams will come up, including ones used with Yahoo Messenger or Instant Messenger.
Pretty neat trick, but we're betting most of what you'll find will be pretty boring.
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.
Video surfers are using this knowledge to peek in on office and restaurant interiors, a Japanese barnyard, women doing laundry, the interior of an Internet collocation facility, and a cage full of rodents, among other things, in locales scattered around the world.
News of the panoptical search queries apparently began on a community web forum, then spread to the widely-read Boing Boing weblog Wednesday and Thursday.
In the past, geeks wanting to peek in on surveillance cams have driven around with receivers and special antenna rigs to pick up signals from wireless cameras.
One of the Google search strings circulating summons a list of nearly 1,000 installed network cameras made by Swedish-based Axis Communications, the other turns up about 500 cameras sold by Panasonic.
Neither company could be reached after hours Friday.
According to their websites, both companies offer the ability to password-protect the Web interfaces to their cameras, and Axis has a feature that blocks access to webcams from all but approved Internet IP addresses.