Shodan now has a section dedicated to browsing vulnerable webcams
The search engine, Shodan, dedicated to finding vulnerabilities in the Internet of Things has now opened a dedicated section for vulnerable webcams.
Shodan which was launched in 2009, is a search engine that lets the user find specific types of computers (routers, servers, etc.) connected to the internet using a variety of filters. Some have also described it as a search engine of service banners, which are meta-data the server sends back to the client
According to Ars Technica, the latest addition to the feed features things like marijuana growing rooms, kids sleeping on nanny cams, and the back rooms of banks. And also: “kitchens, living rooms, garages, front gardens, back gardens, ski slopes, swimming pools, colleges and schools, laboratories, and cash register cameras in retail stores.” Really, anywhere there’s a webcam, there can be someone looking through it who isn’t supposed to.
How it works is Shodan crawls the Internet looking for IP addresses with open ports that lacks authentication and streams a video. It then takes a pic of what the webcam sees and moves on. The cameras are vulnerable because they use the Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP, port 554) to share video but have no password authentication in place. The image feed is available to paid Shodan members at images.shodan.io. Free Shodan accounts can also search using the filter port:554 has_screenshot:true.
Shodan collects data mostly on web servers at the moment (HTTP port 80), but there is also some data from FTP (21), SSH (22) Telnet (23), SNMP (161) and SIP (5060) services.
The quick solution here is to put passwords on your webcams, and to do that immediately. The long-term plan is a bit more complicated as problems with the Internet of Things become more and more evident, but we all need to protect ourselves the best we can until then.