Can Wired Security Cameras Be Hacked? The Surprising Truth!

It’s essential to keep security devices away from the reach of criminals. Unfortunately, physical threats aren’t the only problem plaguing homeowners with security cameras. For instance, security cameras can also be hacked, but that’s common for wireless cameras. But can wired security cameras also be hacked? Let’s find out.

Can Wired Security Cameras Be Hacked?

Wired security cameras are less susceptible to hacking than their wireless variants, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. For wired cameras, hackers require physical access to the camera to hack it. It can also be done if there’s network access to the router or the recorder receiving the footage. Insecure network devices can also expose your wired camera to hackers.

It’s a myth to believe wired security cameras can’t be hacked anymore. Though wireless cameras are far more vulnerable due to easy network accessibility, the same can be configured for wired cameras as well. Just take a look at security cameras exposed over at Insecam (all without password protection!)

Credits: Insecam

Editor’s recommendation: if you’re looking for a state-of-the-art wired camera system that’s one of the toughest to hack, then we’d highly recommend the Anke 8CH which is GDPR compliant and can be used in both indoor and outdoor situations. Check it out here on Amazon.

If your security camera is remotely accessible i.e., you’re able to access it anywhere, your wired camera is exposed to the internet. Just as you’re able to access it, someone else might be able to access it as well.

“But, I’ve got an authentication page which seeks my password to access the camera’s footage!”

That’s great – but these authentication pages are also easier to exploit. Using automated tools to try username-password pairs, a hacker might be able to break your authentication.

What if your security camera isn’t accessible over the internet?

If your security camera is only accessible locally, an internet-connected router or DVR can also give away access to your camera. However, the hacker has to exploit a firmware flaw (i.e., a vulnerability) in the DVR or cameras to access it further. 

For example, a security researcher was able to compromise several DVRs accessible over the internet using a simple command. It was later patched by security camera manufacturers, but many homeowners run outdated equipment.

Credits: BleepingComputer

How To Find Out If Your Wired Security Camera is Hacked?

Although it isn’t easy to tell if a camera is hacked, a change in settings or unusual activity might mean that your camera is accessed by an unauthorized third party. Let’s explore them briefly:

Unable to Access It

Being unable to access your security camera would be the first indicator. If your usual pair of credentials don’t work or the camera doesn’t seem to transmit anymore, it might’ve been hacked into and disabled remotely. However, you should rule out physical causes first. 

Change of Settings

Change of credentials, unusual shift of the lens, and other settings might also indicate your security camera was accessed by someone else. Again, be sure to rule out others from your residence or business modifying these settings. Also be sure to rule out system upgrades.

Often, firmware upgrades can switch a few settings here and there. However, credential changes are not common and do require a look. 

Abnormal Movement

If your wired security camera’s position can be controlled, abnormal shifts or automatic movement might warrant a closer look. Unless the hardware is damaged and usually behaves abnormally, abnormal shifts of the lens are good indicators a camera is hacked into. 

Compromised security cameras can give away key information about you and your residence. It’s obvious you need to know if your security cameras have been hacked or not. Since wired cameras have to transmit to the DVR for footage, hacking a DVR is far more valuable for a hacker.

How To Keep Wired Security Cameras Safe

Wired security cameras are easier to secure as there are a limited number of ways a hacker might be able to illegally access them. We’ve compiled a few basic security checks that might help you secure your wired camera:

Update Firmware

Firmware updates help keep the hardware of the security camera in check. Security manufacturers like Canon and Huawei frequently release updates for cameras. These help ensure all reported vulnerabilities and flaws in the hardware or software are taken care of.

Restrict Remote Access

Remote accessibility might be important if you’re away from your residence. However, open access without password or two-factor authentication can only lower your guard further. Anyone on the wide web would be able to access it and monitor your surroundings. 

To keep that from happening, make sure to put up an authentication page before accessing your security camera. This would at least defend you against ill-motivated criminals who’re looking for easy grabs.

Setup Strong Passwords

Authentication pages won’t do good if your password is repeated everywhere or is a five letter word such as “hello”. These passwords are easily brute-forced by hackers who run an automated scan of username-password pairs on security authentication pages.

If there’s no rate-limit to login failures, which most manufacturers don’t have, your device might easily be hacked into. Ensure you use stronger passwords with a mix of uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers, and symbols.

Setup Two-factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication might be rare in case of wired cameras, but if you have the option to enable it, it’s a fantastic way to secure your device. Having a two-factor authentication means you’re using a password as well as a secret code pair which only you should know from your authenticator.

But if your camera doesn’t have the option, you can revert back to using stronger passwords (which we recommend you keep even if you have two-factor authentication).

Secure the Router

Routers or other internet-accessible devices can also be easily hacked into. These are our gateways to access the internet and if their security posture isn’t maintained, they might also give away access to the camera.

For example, if a hacker is able to compromise a router and gain access to the internal network – they might be able to access the camera just as you do. However, these require sophisticated efforts.

That said, basic security checks such as strong passwords and two-factor authentication apply to routers, as well.

FAQs on Can Wired Security Cameras Be Hacked

Whew, let’s quickly shift attention to answering a few of the best community-asked questions on the topic of hacking wired security cameras. Here you go:

Are wired security cameras safe?

Wired security cameras are safer, more reliable, and secure than wireless security cameras. They’re less susceptible to being hacked if even basic security is maintained. However, their safety can still be compromised by physical or Internet-based attacks.
Since wired cameras don’t record at the camera itself, it’s the DVR which acts as the crown jewel. This also helps them stay safe from being jammed. Though wired cameras can still be disabled by physical attacks, remote hacking can be countered by strong authentication. 

Can all security cameras be hacked?

All security cameras, wired or wireless, can be hacked. Although wireless security cameras are easier to hack due to their network availability, wired cameras are also often configured to access the internet. If hacked, criminals might be able to record footage and monitor your surroundings.
Securing your security devices is paramount to ensure your residence is secured. Ensure basic security checks such as strong passwords and two-factor authentication to thwart hacking attempts from hackers. 

Can you jam wired cameras?

Wired security cameras can’t be jammed as easily as they transmit footage to the DVR. If the DVR or transmission cables are damaged, the wired camera might be jammed. On the other hand, wireless cameras are easily jammed by sending strong radio signals of the same frequency which the camera itself uses to operate.
It’s recommended that the wires connecting the camera to the DVR are concealed. This way, they’re less prone to damage and from being jammed. Modern security cameras quickly alert authorities or homeowners if the camera fails to record after a given threshold of time.

Hacking a wired security camera isn’t a rarity anymore. Even security devices require security themselves such that they can be protected against illegal attempts. Wired security cameras are no different as we’ve explored in this article.

So – are your wired cameras secure? Only a sound security check can answer this.