There are cameras for sale on Amazon that have a problem: they can spy on you

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There are cameras for sale on Amazon that have a problem: they can spy on you

According to Customer Report researchers, to access and control the cameras you just need to create an account on the app managed by the Aiwit company. Cameras compatible with this procedure are sold on Amazon, Walmart, Shein, Sears and Temu.

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Anything connected to the internet can be at risk of a hacker attack. Security systems should reduce if not completely eliminate the risk, yet sometimes all it takes is an app to spy inside other people's homes. A Consumer Reports investigation revealed that some surveillance cameras sold by Amazon, Walmart, Shein, Sears and Temu have security flaws that could allow hackers to view and control footage remotely .

“Major e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Walmart need to do a better job of vetting the sellers and products sold on their platforms, so that consumers are not put at risk,” Justin Brookman , director of the Consumer Reports technology policy.

The cameras were produced by the Chinese company Eken Group Ltd , according to Customer Report researchers, to control them you just need to create an account on the app managed by the company Aiwit . Once cybercriminals have gained access, they can pair the camera to their device “this way they are able to access the videos and are also able to block access”. Not only that, it also appears that the cameras do not have the registration code required by the Federal Communications Commission .

The problems discovered by researchers

According to researchers, there are several problems that would put consumer safety at risk. Home IP addresses and Wifi network names are not encrypted , so your home network is exposed. Hackers can then pair their device easily by downloading an app, and in this way they could view the camera footage or block it. They could also capture still images and information without authentication by taking the device's serial number. Experts also recommend never placing cameras inside the home, especially in bathrooms and bedrooms.

The case of Amazon Ring

This is not the first time that smart devices have created privacy problems. It had already happened with Amazon Ring . A former employee of the Ring Doorbel camera unit had been spying on customers for months in 2017. Amazon in June 2023 agreed to pay $5.8 million to the Federal Trade Commission for giving its surveillance workers access to personal videos.

According to the FTC, Amazon also gave employees unrestricted access to sensitive customer videos, so “employees and third-party contractors were able to view, download, and transfer sensitive customer data.”

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