Police: Images from Rochester family's webcam published online
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - A Rochester family was recently the victim of a global enterprise that hacks into people's home web cameras and publishes the photos online.
The family contacted police Wednesday evening after hearing strange music coming from their wireless web camera. They initially tried to reset the device but the music turned back on as soon as they left the room.
Authorities were able to trace the activity to an IP address in Amsterdam. The images had been shared on a website that posts webcam photos from unsuspecting victims across the globe.
It's unclear how long hackers had control of the family's webcam. The website claims to automatically delete all images 72 hours after they're first posted.
"Our goal is to give awareness of technical security problems around private life," says a message on the website's homepage.
All images posted to the website come from webcams that use the default password or no password at all.
"You have to change the factory password, and you have to change it frequently," said Capt. John Sherwin of the Rochester Police Department.
Sherwin said it would be nearly impossible to pursue charges against the anonymous hackers. Recent reports indicate that hundreds of thousands — perhaps millions — of computers are compromised each year.
(Cover graphic: File / PSDgraphics.com)