Chinese cybercriminals hack cameras to sell private videos on dark web

The number of privacy breaches related to Internet of Things (IoT) devices has increased considerably during the pandemic isolation period. This time, cybersecurity experts report that a Chinese hacking group managed to steal thousands of camera recordings installed in hundreds of homes, selling these videos through illegal forums on the dark web.

The report was filed by a television network in China, whose researchers claim that hackers are selling these confidential records in a sort of package. Criminals have even revealed some samples of these videos as evidence of the attack, claiming that the recordings were stolen from security cameras in hotels, dress rooms, houses and parks.

In their ads, hackers also set prices for these packages; according to the publications, videos that include nudity and related content will sell for about $8 USD, while conventional home or hotel room videos will cost about $3 USD.

As if that wasn’t enough, cybercriminals also sell access to live streams from some home cameras compromised for about $11 USD. If buyers wish to access the live stream of a hotel room or clothing tester, they can purchase this access for about $25 USD. Finally, a more complete package includes access to virtually all cameras hacked for about $50 USD.

This seems to be a recurring problem in China. Just a few hours ago, local media resumed the claims of a person mentioning access to thousands of videos taken from these devices, collected in just a couple of weeks. This individual also claimed that there is a whole hacking network dedicated to the collection of these videos.

Although he did not mention an exact number, this person states that it would not take him a year to finish watching all the stolen videos, noting that his intention was to sell large batches of videos for his customers to resell at higher prices. This individual also mentioned having a couple of accomplices who helped him compromise the security of the attacked cameras and even install cameras where there shouldn’t be.

Needless to say, this is an illegal practice and could bring those involved in the sale of these videos sentences of up to 2 years in prison under Chinese law. Moreover, hackers responsible for compromising IoT devices could receive up to 7 years in prison.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) website.