How to Tell if Your Security Camera Has Been Compromised

Hackers can exploit security system vulnerabilities, compromising the devices designed to keep us safe. It is essential to be vigilant and stay informed about potential security breaches.
Security Camera Has Been Hacked

A few years ago, hackers accessed more than 150,000 live feeds from video surveillance cameras in hospitals, police departments, prisons, schools, and other businesses. Sloppy internal security protocols led to the incident. One security expert called it a “wake-up call” for the entire video surveillance industry. 

For companies, an exposed video stream creates more than embarrassment. Trade secrets could be revealed. The camera data could create privacy issues for employees and customers. This leads us to one big question: How can you tell if your security camera has been hacked?

How Can Hackers Gain Control of Your Video Surveillance?

Cameras play a crucial role in protecting a business. However, with advancements in technology come new risks. Hackers can exploit security system vulnerabilities, compromising the devices designed to keep us safe. It is essential to be vigilant and stay informed about potential security breaches. But how can a bad actor gain access to your cameras?

Hackers can employ various techniques to gain control of your video surveillance system, including: 

    • Exploiting Weak Passwords: Hackers can use brute force attacks or employ automated tools to crack weak passwords and gain unauthorized access to your cameras.

    • Firmware Vulnerabilities: Security cameras run on firmware, which is essentially the operating system for the device. Outdated or poorly coded firmware may have known vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. They can leverage these weaknesses to access your camera's settings, footage, or control functions.

    • Remote Access Backdoors: Some security cameras offer remote access features, allowing users to view live footage or control the camera from anywhere via the internet. However, if these remote access features are not secured, they can become a backdoor for hackers. They can exploit vulnerabilities in remote access protocols or weak authentication methods to gain control of your cameras.

    • Malware and Phishing Attacks: Hackers may employ malicious software (malware) or fake emails (phishing) to gain control of your security cameras. Phishing emails have infected attachments or links that, when clicked, install malware on your devices. Once inside your network, the malware can grant unauthorized access to your cameras.

    • Wi-Fi Network Exploitation: Hackers can target weak Wi-Fi passwords, unencrypted connections, or outdated router firmware to access your cameras.

    These techniques can be thwarted, but it takes vigilance from your video surveillance provider. How can a business owner know that their security cameras have been hacked?

    How To Tell if Your Security Camera Has Been Hacked

    Security Camera Hacked

    Security breaches of video surveillance cameras are increasing. What can a business owner look for to determine if they’re about to become a victim of a cyber-terrorist?

    Unusual camera behavior is one of the first indications that your security camera may have been hacked. Keep an eye out for the following signs:

    • Camera Malfunctions: It could be a red flag if your camera suddenly stops working or experiences frequent disruptions. Signs include freezing images, blurry footage, or failure to record altogether.

    • Unexpected Movements: Security cameras may start panning, tilting, or zooming – without your input. If you notice your camera moving erratically without any input from you or authorized personnel, it could indicate unauthorized access.

    • LED Lights and Indicators: Pay attention to the LED lights on your security camera. It could indicate a compromise if they behave unexpectedly, such as turning on or off at odd times or blinking rapidly.

    Suspicious network activity is another way to tell if your security camera has been hacked. For a security camera to be hijacked, it requires a connection to the internet to allow remote access. Business owners can monitor their network for signs of suspicious activity, such as:

    • Unexplained Bandwidth Usage: Do you notice a significant increase in internet bandwidth consumption? There may be internal reasons for this increase. But without apparent reason, it could be a sign that your security camera is compromised.

    • Slow Network Speed: A hacked camera may strain your network, causing a slowdown in internet speed or performance. If your network suddenly becomes sluggish, consider the possibility of a security breach.

    • Unauthorized Access to Camera Settings: Hackers may gain access to your security camera's settings and make changes. Watch for unfamiliar configurations, altered passwords, or settings you didn't modify.

    Strange or unauthorized notifications can also be a cybersecurity red flag. Modern security cameras often come equipped with motion detection and alert features. Hackers can exploit these functions to send false notifications or gain unauthorized control. Look out for the following signs:

    • Unexpected Notifications: Have you received notifications for events that didn't occur? Are the notifications at odd hours when there is normally no business activity? It could indicate that someone has tampered with your cameras.

    • Unfamiliar Accounts or Logins: Regularly check your security camera's associated accounts. It could be a sign of unauthorized access if you notice unfamiliar usernames or logins.

    • Changes in Privacy Settings: Hackers may modify privacy settings, allowing them to access your camera's live feed or recordings remotely. If you find unfamiliar devices or locations listed in your privacy settings, something could be going on.

    Most business owners don’t have enough time in the day to also ride shotgun on their video surveillance systems. That’s why Pro-Vigil offers a hands-free IP Camera Health Monitoring service. It’s part of our turnkey video surveillance service to keep your business secure. Here’s how it works.

    How to Secure Your Security Camera System with Pro-Vigil

    Prevention is key when it comes to securing your security camera system. Pro-Vigil offers companies advanced health monitoring to detect camera problems early. We combine the best in computer automation software with remote security guards as the one-two punch to ensure 100% functionality in the cameras we install. 

    In a world where digital threats are becoming increasingly prevalent, it’s essential to stay vigilant about the security of our devices. Investing in the security of your security cameras is investing in your peace of mind. Stay informed, stay alert, and stay safe. Call on Pro-Vigil. We can help.


    Watch for suspicious activities such as unexpected movements, strange noises, or distorted video quality. Check for unauthorized access to the camera's settings or unusual data usage. Regularly update firmware and passwords and consider using secure networks and encryption for added protection.

    With a growing number of internet-connected video surveillance tools, hacking is an increasing concern. While it is difficult to know the exact numbers, hacking incidents are rising. It is crucial to stay vigilant, employ security measures, and update devices to mitigate these risks.

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