NATIONAL

Alleged Peeping Toms accused of hacking pet-monitoring cameras

By Kim Jee-min
  • Published : Nov 1, 2018 - 16:37
  • Updated : Nov 1, 2018 - 16:37
Police said Thursday that 10 people have been booked on suspicion of hacking IP cameras used to monitor pets and violating privacy laws by recording videos of the owners.

A suspect surnamed Hwang was booked on charges of hacking and leaking the personal information of about 10,500 users. Hwang is also accused of illegally accessing some 264 IP cameras and secretly recording videos of the users.

Police say the suspect, who is reported to be a freelance web programmer and a user of the monitoring site, found out that his own account was hacked in 2014. After learning the website’s vulnerability, they said, he began hacking into it and recording videos of other users.


(Yonhap)

The website in question sells IP cameras and provides real-time monitoring for pets. The site has some 15,000 users, many of whom are reported to be women living alone with their pets. Most of these cameras come with features that include adjusting angles or zooming in, making the users vulnerable targets for hackers.

Police have also caught nine other suspects, who are accused of using the same tactics to violate some 4,900 users’ privacy. More than 27,000 videos recorded by the suspects were found, police say, amounting to a total of 1.4 terabytes.

The suspects include workers and a foreigner currently living in South Korea.

An arrest warrant for Hwang had been requested by police, but prosecutors refused to grant the warrant, saying Hwang had admitted to his crimes that and all the evidence had already been collected.

Police said they had deleted all the recordings they had confiscated. They are currently investigating to determine whether any videos have been distributed online.

By Kim Jee-min (jeeminkim@heraldcorp.com)