It was recently reported by Korean news outlet, IT Chosun, that South Korean apartments’ CCTV intercom systems have been hacked nationwide. This resulted in a breach of security where footage of the ordinary lives of various families and individuals have been compromised. These videos were sold on the dark web at high prices.
A hacker had revealed that he was in possession of multiple videos and was selling the videos in bulk for 0.1 bitcoin per day of footage. 0.1 bitcoin according to standards of November 15, 2021, would be worth around ₩8.00 million KRW (about $6,780 USD). Korean apartments mostly have a smart intercom system which allows them to video through CCTV who was at their door. The hacker gained access to almost all the apartments with such devices in South Korea.
The hacker posted evidence of preview images consisting of dozens of thumbnails from the footage. Unfortunately, not only were footages of regular home life revealed, provocative video content such as people indulging in sexual acts were also obtained through the hack. Naturally, the identities of the people were revealed as their faces appeared in the videos.
The South Korean apartment CCTV system works such that one such CCTV is linked to the other CCTVs in the same apartment. Just by breaking into one CCTV, the hacker can get access to the other CCTVs in the complex. According to the investigative journalist that tried to contact the hacker, the hacker allowed them to choose the name of the apartment complex they wished to purchase footage from. This makes it incredibly dangerous as people are able to easily obtain footage for blackmail should they know someone’s address.
Thankfully, the government is working on the issue to revise home technology and network security. Such measures will include password authentication and more. Unfortunately, little can be done about the already leaked footage.