PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Your home computer is no longer the first thing hackers go for.
With more of us getting better at protecting our personal information, hackers are now taking any avenue to get into your home.READ MORE: Some Health Experts Believe School Districts Should Mandate Mask-Wearing
One website in particular is giving them an open highway.
“Literally thousands of people can be peering into your webcam, into your home and you have no knowledge of it,” security expert Dale Drew said.
Drew wants everyone to know that this type of voyeurism is rampant.
“Bad guys are getting access to home-based cameras and getting pictures of people changing their clothes or wearing no clothes and then threatening to publish those pictures on the internet unless they get paid a ransom,” Drew said.
New search engines like Shodan make it easier than ever to find exposed devices.
“It’s transforming the Internet of things into the Internet of threats,” Drew said.
It’s more than just webcams. Any device connected to the Internet is vulnerable.
You name it, Chris Roberts has probably hacked it. He’s paid to expose security threats.
“Everything from missiles, to tanks, to planes to buildings to banks to prisons,” Roberts said.
His new focus is all the Internet-connected devices popping up in our homes such as, television, security systems and even refrigerators.
“It’s an easy way into your home network and potentially your life,” Roberts said.READ MORE: Death Of Woman Found On South Side Ruled Homicide
Hacking into a sprinkler system, a thermostat or an appliance probably doesn’t seem like a big security threat.
However, because the devices are often interconnected, gaining access to one device could lead a hacker straight to your home computer and all the information on it.
“Game over, all because we hacked the oven,” Roberts said.
But there are some simple steps you can take.
The easiest is to not bypass security during set up on anything. The most important thing is to set a unique password.
“The default password is admin password, and the bad guys know that. If you change that to anything else you’ve prevented a majority of the bad guys from breaking into your home network,” Drew said.
Meanwhile Roberts said tech manufacturers need to start beefing up security.
“You either accept the fact that you are putting an insecure device in, or you don’t,” Roberts said.
You can also use Shodan to your advantage by trying to find any of the devices in your home on the site, so you’ll know if they’re vulnerable.
The CEO of Shodan insists it’s not meant to help hackers. He said it’s just the opposite and it’s an important tool for security experts to see just what is vulnerable.
“Shodan has directly led to the securing of hundreds of thousands of devices across the Internet, including critical infrastructure in the U.S.,” he said.MORE NEWS: DEP Blames Fungicide For Thousands Of Dead Fish In Chartiers Creek