Hacked footage from security cameras in Singapore homes shared on porn sites

Clips from the hacked footage were uploaded on pornographic sites, with several explicitly tagged as being from Singapore.
Clips from the hacked footage were uploaded on pornographic sites, with several explicitly tagged as being from Singapore.

Security cameras in Singapore homes have been hacked and the footage has been shared online.

Clips from the hacked footage were uploaded on pornographic sites recently, with several explicitly tagged as being from Singapore.

Most of the people captured in the videos are in various stages of undress or in compromising positions.

In many of the videos, the layout of the homes was typical of that of Housing Board flats.

The footage appeared to be from Internet Protocol (IP) cameras common in homes in Singapore. These are installed for security purposes or to remotely monitor children, seniors, domestic workers and pets.

A group dedicated to hacking IP cameras was behind the hacking.

The group, which can be found on social messaging platform Discord, has almost 1,000 members across the globe.

As at last Saturday, members of the Discord group claimed to have shared more than three terabytes of clips with over 70 members, who paid a subscription fee of US$150 (S$203) for lifetime access to them.

A significant portion of the clips seem to be from IP cameras in Singapore.

The group claims to have a list of more than 50,000 hacked cameras that members can access.

It also claims that VIP members will be taught how to "explore, watch live and even record" hacked cameras through tutorials and personalised sessions.

PREVENTING HACKING

Mr Clement Lee, solution architect for the Asia-Pacific at cyber-security solutions provider Check Point Software Technologies, said many IP cameras are at risk as they are typically installed to be accessed remotely via the Internet.

"Usually, it is the result of poor password management," he said.

He advises those with such cameras at home to ensure that their software is up to date and to avoid using simple passwords.

Criminal lawyer James Ow Yong said anyone who hacks such cameras will run afoul of the law, even if they are outside Singapore.

Those who share or watch such videos can be prosecuted for offences relating to voyeurism.

Mr Ow Yong said: "Where the victim is under the age of 16, the material may be considered child pornography, and such offences attract a higher range of sentences."

He added that those who distribute or sell child pornography can be jailed for up to seven years, fined and/or caned.

A police spokesman said the public should make a police report if they are aware of anyone engaging in such activities.

TAKE PRECAUTIONS

Members of the public are advised to take these precautions to secure their IP cameras:

  • Use an IP camera from a trusted brand offering reliable security features.
  • Update the software for the IP camera as soon as it is available.
  • Use a strong password, and change it regularly. Do not use the default password that comes with the IP camera.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2020, with the headline 'Hacked footage from security cameras in homes here shared on porn sites'. Print Edition | Subscribe