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Chinese police suggest users change their home camera passwords after purchase and to avoid installing them in private areas like bedrooms. (Picture: CCTV)

Tens of thousands of home security camera accounts sold online in China

Home security cameras from brands including Amazon and Xiaomi are facing scrutiny in both China and the US

This article originally appeared on ABACUS
For as little as 50 yuan (US$7.20), people can buy an online account for a home security camera that belongs to a stranger, according to Zhejiang police. State broadcaster CCTV reported that tens of thousand of home camera accounts were found being sold on various online platforms, including Tencent’s QQ chat app. 
Video recordings that contain nudity or sex are sold for 10 to 20 yuan (US$1.44 to US$2.88), and some login details sell for up to 100 yuan (US$14.39), the report says. Zhejiang police said they arrested 32 people involved in home camera hacks across more than 20 provinces.

A police officer cited in the report said that most of the cameras hacked were using default passwords. But it’s not clear which brands were affected.

Security problems with home surveillance cameras have also recently been in the spotlight in the US. Multiple incidents have occurred in which hackers harassed families through Amazon’s Ring home cameras. In another recent case, Xiaomi apologized after a user seemingly saw images from strangers’ homes while trying to stream a Xiaomi camera to a Google Nest Hub.
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