CCTV cameras in hijacking

Austrian computer hackers have demonstrated that it’s possible to hijack police CCTV cameras with just a commercially available satellite receiver.

Jan 26, 2006
By David Howell
Custody photos of Danny Brown, Stefan Baldauf, Peter Murray, Tony Borg, Leon Reilly and Philip Lawson

Austrian computer hackers have demonstrated that it’s possible to hijack police CCTV cameras with just a commercially available satellite receiver.

They used the hardware to hijack the camera overlooking a busy square in Vienna. The signal from the CCTV camera had been encrypted but the hackers were able to unscramble the signals and view the camera’s footage.

Christian Moch, a spokesman for Quintessenz who instigated the stunt, told New Scientist magazine: “The funny thing was, the camera wasn’t able to see right below itself, so people could carry out drug deals underneath it without being seen.” The group was protesting at a new Austrian law that permits police to install CCTV cameras in any public place without obtaining a warrant. “They’re watching our every move and that’s just wrong. It’s too close to the book 1984,” Moch concluded.

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