Is Your Baby Being Spied On? Parents Warned After Russian Website Streams Hacked Baby Monitor Images

Baby in a soft sleep during the day
Baby in a soft sleep during the day

Parents have been warned to change the passwords on their CCTV baby monitors over fears hackers could be spying on their children.

The warning comes after it was revealed that hundreds of private webcams in the UK can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection.

The Information Commissioner's Office said a Russian website has been streaming images from webcams around the world, including CCTV and baby monitors.

The site, which has been operating for a month, gains access by using the default logins and passwords for the web cameras, which are posted online.

It shows live feeds of offices, living rooms, nurseries and a gym in the UK.

Many consumers use webcams to monitor their homes and family while away, but fail to change the default password, leaving them vulnerable.

Christopher Graham, the Information Commissioner, asked Russian authorities to remove the site - and said that this should be a wake-up call to consumers who fail to set secure passwords on webcams.

Simon Rice, the ICO group manager for technology, said: "The ability to access footage remotely is both an internet camera's biggest selling point and, if not set up correctly, potentially its biggest security weakness.

"Remember, if you can access your video footage over the internet, then what is stopping someone else from doing the same?"

Since Motherboard first reported on the site at the end of October, the number of UK webcams on the site has fallen from 1,764 to 584. The US has the most webcams, with 4,591, followed by France with 2,059.