Can Nest Camera be hacked ?

Last Updated : November 2018

Home security is all the rage right now and people are investing a lot more money in the technology that they use to help keep their home and possessions safe and secure. In this article, we ask can Nest Camera be hacked.

 

Nest Security Camera have proven ever so popular with home owners all around the globe for multiple reasons.

Firstly, because of their aesthetics. Can you remember the big, bulky, horrible security cameras that appeared on the market a couple of decades ago?

 

Probably hanging from the roof of your local corner shop, these big and bulky cameras lacked sex appeal and had the recording quality of a hieroglyphic.

 

Now, the Nest Security Camera not only looks incredibly smart, but offers great quality coverage too! And, being wireless, allows for a much smarter and less clunky all-round design.

Easy Install vs Security

Nest cameras are so easy to install that many people choose to fit them themselves and avoid the use of having to hire in a professional to come and set the whole system up.

 

However, does this easy approach leave Nest cameras open to hackers to be able to disable them in just a few simple keystrokes?

 

If this is the case, then the security that these cameras bring to your home may be flawed and leave you vulnerable in places.

What's the vulnerability?

All of Nest’s cameras, both their indoor and outdoor cameras as well as their Dropcam models have a very serious vulnerability that can allow hackers to disconnect the cameras with a simple Bluetooth Command. Fortunately, a security researcher discovered these flaws before it was too late and reported them back to Nest for them to fix. It took the security researcher having to publish the vulnerabilities online and now Nest are looking into a fix to stop the problem occurring once and for all.

We have only mentioned one vulnerability so far, but in fact there are three. The first two occur when a person sends a WiFi SSID parameter or a WiFi password parameter to the camera via blootooth. If either these things are done, then the camera or device simply crashes and is forced into a reboot. As the reboot takes approximately 90 seconds to complete, it gives any potential intruder the time to enter your home or premises undetected.

The third vulnerability gives a hacker the chance to simply disconnect the camera from the network entirely, by sending to it a new WiFi SSID parameter via Bluetooth. This of course is major bad news and can be highly disruptive for many reasons; most of all, the fact that these camera store footage to the internet via Wifi. No Wifi connection, no footage storage.

What can you do?

We don’t mean to be all doom and gloom about these security flaws however it is very important to know about them to help protect yourself or perhaps to not rely fully on these cameras as your only form of protection. After all, even hard wired camera systems can have the same issue; cut the cable, and you lose any footage.

In terms of keeping yourself safe, it is hard at this stage to break down an exact way to protect yourself from these security flaws and to keep your home protected completely.

One thing that we advise you can do is to ensure that all of your network passwords are very thorough, and very strong! For hackers with a little know-how, finding the next target with an unsecured video feed is only a Google search away.

It’s unbelievable how many people, including businesses, setup security camera systems and can’t be bothered to change the default username and password. Certain websites, such as Shodan.io, display just how easy it is to access unsecured video feeds or those with default logins by aggregating and displaying them for all to see.

It would be nearly impossible to know if your security cameras have been hacked or tampered with in anyway Attacks could go completely unnoticed to an untrained eye, and most people wouldn’t know where to begin to look to check.

A red flag for some malicious activity on a security camera is a slow or worse than normal performance.

Then again, poor performance isn’t solely indicative of a malicious attack — it could have a perfectly normal explanation, such as a poor connection or signal.

What else should I do?

While no one system is impervious to an attack, there are some precautions you can take to further decrease your odds of being hacked.


  • Secure your wireless network with WPA2.

  • When available, enable encryption within the security camera’s administrative tools.

  • Protect the admin software with a username and password that cannot be easily guessed, even on a secured network.

  • Update the camera firmware frequently or whenever possible.


You could even try putting your Nest cameras on a network of their own, and separate from all of your other smart devices etc. Although there are still ways around this, it will simply slow any attacker down and stop any “land and expand,” where an attacker gains access to one device and uses it to take control of other connected devices on the same network.


You may also want to try setting up a VPN – or virtual private network that can restrict even further which devices can access the network.

So, can Nest Camera be hacked ?

So in answer to the initial question, Nest Cameras do have the capability to be hacked, however the likelihood of it happening are slim, and only the most determined will be able to do so. Just remember, if someone wants to break into your home, they will do whatever it takes. Taking aside hacking for a moment, the cutting of cables, or removal or covering a camera will too stop the camera from working so do not allow these flaws to stop you from considering buying a Nest Camera.

 

The benefits and positives far outweigh the negatives and you can rest assured that for the most part, your home will feel safer with a set of Nest camera helping you to monitor both the interior and exterior of your home.

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Last update was in: 17th November 2018 15:00

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