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

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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