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Website Streams Private Security Cameras; Reminds Users To Change Passwords

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Security cameras can help people keep a watchful eye on their homes when they're away, but a new website shows that very camera may be letting others sneak a peek inside.

"This is a good reminder to change your passwords," said CNET Executive Editor Ian Sherr. "A lot of these cameras, you can plug into the Internet so you can see what's going on in your homes when you're not there, but many of them have default passwords."

Unfortunately a lot of people don't change their passwords, Sherr said.

A group has created a website called Insecam, presumably a shortened form of insecure cameras. It's a way for you to actually click through and see live feeds from these people's homes that are still using the default password.

"It's rather frightening if you think about it," Sherr said. "Right now I'm looking into someone's living room in Manhattan and they have no idea I'm doing that. There are over 11,000 of these cameras in the U.S. alone that the website is using. Of course there are probably many more."

Sherr added there are 25,000 insecure cameras in the U.K. and even six in Tanzania.

"It is an interesting trend. There are a number of groups who try to do these kind of high-profile things to remind us that 'Hey, you should be watching your security.'" Sherr said.

You might remember the group LulzSec, who in 2011 hacked into both the CIA and FBI's websites leaving little messages teasing that they were able to break in.

Sherr stressed the importance of changing your passwords from time to time.

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