Webcam streaming website shut down

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A Russian website which was streaming images from webcams at homes in Birstall and broadcasting them across the world has been shut down.

The video feeds were watching the personal lives of 584 people across the UK for one month before being disconnected.

The Reporter Series learned that nearly 30 cameras were streaming in West Yorkshire – from baby monitors to CCTV – including some in Birstall, Wakefield, Pontefract and Leeds.

A camera-enabled device in Birsall showed the living room of a home, with the longitude, latitude and a postcode published alongside the footage.

Another webcam was also being streamed in the village, showing the inside of a house at its entrance.

Images of children’s bedrooms and views into family living rooms across the country were also accessible.

The website said what it was doing was “fully legal” and added: “This site has been designed in order to show the importance of the security settings.”

It said only webcams which were using default password settings or no password protection were being streamed.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) warned that those with weak or no password protection on devices could be vulnerable.

Simon Rice, group manager for technology at ICO, said: “This is a threat that all of us need to be aware of and be taking action to protect against.”

To ensure you are protected, when you buy a new webcam make sure you change the default password and turn off the remote viewing option.