Blink cameras are an excellent solution for homeowners who want to keep an eye on their property without dealing with the hassle and expense of installing and maintaining a traditional security system. But as the security industry has learned the hard way, no system is entirely secure. So the question is, can someone hack Blink cameras?
Like all wireless devices, Blink cameras are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. However, the good news is that Blink cameras are designed with several built-in features that make them more difficult to hack than many of their competitors. Place them carefully for added insurance.
Security cameras are becoming increasingly essential for ensuring the safety of our homes and businesses, and each year, more advanced technology is being released. Despite this, no system is entirely secure yet, and hackers are always coming up with new ways to exploit security flaws. So, we have to take a proactive approach and be aware of the potential risks. Let’s look at how Blink cameras can be hacked and what you can do to protect yourself.
What Are Blink Cameras?
Blink cameras (on Amazon) are wireless, stand-alone home security cameras by Amazon-owned Blink Home Security. They are compact, battery-powered devices that work over the internet, so you get live footage, real-time notifications, and recorded videos of activity around your home, no matter where you are.
These smart cameras are motion-activated, which means they record a 5-60 second video clip when the sensor detects movement. These clips are then uploaded to secure cloud storage or saved in local storage.
Blink cameras are designed for self-installation and can be set up in just a few minutes. In addition, they run on two AA batteries that can last up to two years, making them one of the most efficient and low-maintenance home security solutions on the market.
Other notable features include two-way audio, night vision, cloud storage, temperature and humidity sensors, and activity filters. But what makes them truly stand out is the affordable price. With options starting at ~$35, Blink cameras are a terrific budget-friendly choice.
Can Blink Cameras Be Hacked?
Unfortunately, Yes. Like most devices connected to the internet, Blink cameras can potentially be hacked. Hacking a camera gives the attacker access to stored video feed or live footage, and they could also tamper with the settings or spy on the home’s occupants.
However, there have been no reports of Blink cameras being hacked yet. Blink cameras are generally considered reliable and secure home security solutions, but it is always essential to keep protective measures to prevent any potential intrusions.
How Do Blink Cameras Get Hacked?
The main vulnerabilities in Blink cameras are related to network security and lack of user knowledge. These cameras are so easy to install that people often forget how important it is to secure their network correctly, and hackers take advantage of that.
Local hacks are rarer than remote hacks, but they can still happen. The attacker needs to be physically close to the camera. Common avenues for local hacks include:
- Network spoofing: Attackers create a fake wireless network that looks identical to the one the Blink camera is connected to. The user misconnects to the spoofed network, giving the attacker access to their device and any Blink cameras on that network.
- Brute force attacks: They use bots to cycle through every possible combination of passwords to guess the right one eventually.
- Eavesdropping: Attackers can use a packet sniffer to intercept data sent between the Blink camera and its server. This type of attack can give the attacker access to live footage or recorded videos.
- Physical Malware Infection: Sometimes, hackers get physical access to the router or any connected devices and install malware. The malware then infects the Blink camera, giving the attacker remote access.
Remote hacks are far more common and a more significant threat to home security cameras. They can be done from anywhere in the world as long as the attacker has an internet connection.
For remote hacks, attackers usually exploit vulnerabilities in the Blink cameras’ software or the home’s Wi-Fi network. However, they also target the Blink servers directly. The most common methods for remote hacking are:
- Social engineering and pishing: Hackers trick you into providing security credentials or other sensitive info over the phone, email, instant messaging, or fake websites that look identical to legitimate Blink sites.
- SQL Injection: When hackers send carefully crafted packets to send illegitimate requests to the Blink servers to override commands and take control of cameras. This type of hacking needs some knowledge and specific tools and is not something the average person could do.
Access from Other Connected Devices
Blink cameras are compatible with various connected devices, including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. If hackers gain access to such connected devices, they can use that information to access your Blink network by sending commands via voice or text.
Blink Security Vulnerabilities
There have been a few reports of security issues with Blink cameras. Though these were addressed quickly, they illustrate how important it is to be vigilant about your camera’s security.
Some of the main vulnerabilities include:
- Insecure communications: The Blink camera uses several protocols to communicate with its servers, including HTTP and HTTPS. Though they are encrypted and secured, if any door is left open for an attacker, they could eavesdrop on your footage.
- Outdated firmware: Firmware updates fix security issues with devices and technologies. If the Blink camera does not have up-to-date firmware, it may be vulnerable to any new hacking methods developed between updates.
Blink Sync Module
The Blink Sync Module connects your cameras to your home network and acts as a bridge between your local devices and the cloud. But it also leaves your camera to ‘Lateral Movements,’ which means that if a hacker can access one of your cameras, they can quickly move on to the next device and continue their attack.
In other words, if one Blink camera has been compromised, it puts all other cameras at risk.
How To Know If Your Blink Camera Has Been Hacked?
A few key signs may indicate that your Blink camera has been hacked. If you notice any of the following, it’s crucial to take action immediately:
1. Strange Activity on Your Blink Account
You’ve noticed unusual activity on your Blink accounts, such as new devices added or changes to your settings that you didn’t make yourself.
2. Unexplained Sounds or Movement in Your Home
Your camera acts strangely; for example, it responds to motion alerts when no one is home or does recordings when no motion is detected. You may also notice unusual noise coming from your cameras or that they are unresponsive to commands.
3. Changes in Quality or Connectivity of Your Cameras
Hacked cameras become less responsive and slow because the system uses up a lot of bandwidth. You may notice that live footage is choppy or has a lot of static. In some cases, hacked cameras will lose connection but still show internet activity.
4. You’re Locked Out of Your Account
If you cannot log in to your Blink account and cannot reset your password, it’s possible that the hacker has gained access and changed the login information to lock you out.
5. Unusual Behaviour From Connected Devices
Other connected devices in your home are acting strangely, such as not responding to voice commands or being activated without your input; it usually happens when hackers gain sufficient access to your network and can continue their attack.
How To Prevent Your Blink Camera From Being Hacked
Blink cameras are a great home security solution, but it is important to be aware of their risks. By taking some simple precautions, you can help keep your family and home safe from potential harm. Here are some tips to prevent your Blink camera from being hacked:
1. Keep Firmware Up To Date
Firmware updates fix known security vulnerabilities in devices and technologies. So keep a check on updates and make sure you install the latest version as soon as it is released.
2. Update Login Information
A strong password is one of the best ways to protect your account from being hacked. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols to create a password that would be difficult for someone to guess. Make sure to change your credentials regularly.
3. Diversify Your Login Accounts
Don’t use the same password for all of your accounts. So even if your Blink account gets compromised, you’ll have the option to take back control through associated mail or social media accounts. Also, activate two-factor authentication on all your accounts. This makes it difficult for unauthorized users to access your data.
4. Secure Wi-Fi Network
Use a strong password on your home network and limit devices that can connect to it. Get a router that controls this feature to ensure only authorized devices can connect.
4. Install a Quality Antivirus and Security Suites
Antivirus software protects against malicious programs designed to steal your personal information or harm your computer. At the same time, security suites offer an added layer of protection against all online threats. So, install a high-quality antivirus and security suite on all connected devices to your Blink camera.
5. Be Careful about What You Click
Hackers often use phishing emails and malicious websites to spread viruses and steal personal information. Be very careful about what you click on, even if it looks like it’s from a trusted source. Contact the company directly to verify before clicking on anything if you’re ever unsure.
Use Camera Placement to Manage Risk
While the probability of a Blink Camera hack is pretty low, it’s never 0, and as the internet gets bigger, more people log on, and our wireless networks become messier and less secure overall, this type of thing is bound to start happening more and more often.
So, knowing that, what can you do? You want the security of the camera, but you can never be 100% sure it won’t be hacked. You can still have some control of the situation by simply considering where you place your cameras. In hallways, in dining spaces or living rooms, or on outdoor walkways – all of these are locations useful to you but not really useful to anyone else in a hacking situation.
However, if you have the camera in sensitive areas, bathrooms or bedrooms where people are taking their clothes off, all the sudden a hack could produce a nasty situation for you. So, you can practice some safe camera placement by simply avoiding these locations. You still feel secure and protected, but a hack doesn’t have nearly as drastic implications for you.
Blink cameras are a great option for homeowners looking for an affordable and reliable home security solution. But as with any connected device, it is crucial to be aware of the risks associated with them and take preventative measures to protect your family and home.
So, follow good cyber security practices, keep your devices and software up to date, and be connected to resources that can help you identify and respond to cyber-attacks. Your Blink camera can be the best tool in home security if you take all the necessary precautions.