How do burglars use surveillance cameras?

By analyzing network data and without having access to images from a surveillance camera, burglars can know if people are at home. This is revealed by a study published by the Queen Mary University of London and the  Chinese Academy of Science. The researchers, therefore, warn against the clues left by the recorded video stream and transferred by the cameras.

From a distance, surveillance cameras allow you to keep an eye on your home both outside and inside. As soon as the camera picks up movement inside the home or in a garage, the owner or tenant is alerted, and it is also possible to watch the video stream in real-time. It’s basic and all current models work this way, with a Wi-Fi connection to transfer images to a server.

But this data transfer can also serve as indicators for burglars. This is revealed by a study by Queen Mary University in London and the  Chinese Academy of Science . Researchers and engineers at these two establishments have discovered that it is possible to know if a dwelling is occupied simply by monitoring the network activity of the camera.

A scanner to monitor activity

This obviously requires advanced computer knowledge since the burglar must turn into a pirate and use the equivalent of a scanner to observe the data exchanged on the network. The camera has its own IP address , and it is therefore possible to identify it among the various devices connected to the Internet .

At  CNN , the study author explains that downloads of unencrypted data increase when a camera records something in motion, such as a person entering a room or getting up. If he is targeting a particular house, the burglar could analyze the video stream over several days, and thus note the variations when people are absent. The authors of this study thus propose that the camera manufacturers work on a system that would maintain a continuous flow of data, whether the camera detects movement or not.