Nothing is truly guaranteed, not even for our seemingly invincible CCTV surveillance systems. As surveillance became more prominent and the line between private and public supervision blurred, there are many embedded risks that public failed to notice. While we continued to seek protection under this blanket named after vigilant, why not go through this list of risks that our CCTV is succumbing to.
The most apparent susceptibility faced by CCTV surveillance system will be the risk of being exploited. Public is well aware of the existence of surveillance cameras and integrating them into their lives, but they do not seem to know the capabilities of these machines. With the advance in technology, individual behaviours not only become traceable but predictable too, looking if from another perspective, people’s actions are no longer voluntary, but can be controlled. For example, if individuals follow a specific routine and are being caught on surveillance cameras in a regular basis, his/her presence will become vulnerable.
Moreover, surveillance system had made easily available, with the increase in popularity of mobile applications and reducing in size of the cameras. Nowadays even police officers and supermarket staff wear body-worn cameras, to deter possible discrepancies. In UK, security officers on duties were made to wear body cameras coming with microphones while patrolling on campuses, as a mean to battle against crimes and fights. Authorities are concern about losing or stealing of these small size cameras, which may lead to the leaking of sensitive or private data.
Exploitation of surveillance cameras had been taken a step further with the use of Drone or ummanned aerial vehicle, which can be easily disguised as toy but functionally capable to capture the happenings around. Currently, not many places have strictly rules to control on the use of this.
CCTV surveillance system is also giving way to the increase in cyber-attack. Footages had adopted the practice of being sent wirelessly to respective smart phones or computers, however, ensuring server is secured and server binary is not publicly available. Not many is arm with the knowledge that wireless network needs to be properly encrypted. Many home or office based wifi network works by several people sharing the same router, so that information and data can be sent from one end to the other. As a result, if the network is not secured enough, it is possible for middleman to take advantage of the situation by intercepting the network, stalking, stealing, and even altering information share between these parties.
For example, this middle man hacker may set up false intercept website, giving out the false impressions that they had their videos safely sent to the authorities. On the other hand, these hackers may also send false footages to authorities, notifying them of a crime taking place in certain part of the city, while they carry out the actual one somewhere else. Sometimes, emergencies or incidences take place so quickly that one may not question if what we see are really what is happening.
Another risk which is often overlooked will be the exposure of brand name and model number of CCTV cameras. During installation, it is important to minimize unnecessary exposure, so that no one will target and exploit on these infrastructures. Always keep a questioning mind, do not be overly dependent on our current surveillance systems, and ensure that all information are properly secured with valid and strong passwords are properly the best things we could at this moment so that we will not turn from a protected individual to a victim.