Afternoon Security Brief: Remote Viewing, The Dip Chip Tests Toxicity, NCCD Web Site Goes Live, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►Security engineers from Gotham Digital Science say they were able to get remote access to surveillance cameras and view “exceptionally interesting and explicit footage” because many network set-ups are connected to the Internet and cameras still use factory default passwords for remote viewing. The vulnerability can be found in three of the top makers of standalone CCTV systems. Seventy percent of systems tested by Gotham Digital Science still had default passwords. Many of the default passwords were “1234” or “1111” and usernames were “admin” or “user.”

►Researchers at Tel Aviv University have created a new device called the “Dip Chip” that can detect toxic chemicals in real time with a low rate of false positives. The biosensor contains microbes designed to exhibit a biological reaction to toxic chemicals that mimics the biological responses of humans or animals. The reaction is converted into a readable electronic signal. The tiny sensor is around the size of a house key, and researchers hope that smaller versions of the Dip Chip could later be plugged into mobile devices so it can be used in camping or military settings.

►The National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), a criminal justice research group, launched a new Web site on Monday to provide access to their publications library and research on child welfare, juvenile justice, criminal justice, analytics, education, adult protection, and other criminal justice-related topics. NCCD on Monday released a new report, "Prison Bed Profiteers: How Corporations Are Reshaping Criminal Justice in the U.S.," detailing “how private prison corporations are derailing public safety and long-term, sustainable criminal justice reform.”

►In other news, an Illinois hospital employee is charged with identity theft after she regularly used the credit card information of former patients to pay her water bills. ♦ Video from a nearby surveillance camera was among the evidence provided to George Zimmerman’s defense attorneys in the Trayvon Martin shooting case. ♦ And researchers in Japan are exploring the use of cats as earthquake early warning systems.



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