Webcam snooper now looking for a job

The developer of a widely vilified website that aggregated feeds from unsecured webcams is apparently looking for work as a remote programmer.

Insecam, which was criticized last week by the U.K.’s data protection regulator, no longer features webcam feeds but has the message: “Programmer is looking for a good remote job. Skills: Linux, FreeBSD, C/C++, Python, MySQL.”

The attention drawn to Insecam is likely still driving traffic to the website, but probably not from employers eager to hire its creator. Insecam contended that it did not hack the webcams but that the devices had default credentials.

In some countries, using default credentials to access a device would still be considered illegal.

On Thursday, the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office warned that Insecam, which is hosted in Russia, should be shut down. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission followed up with a warning that users should ensure video feeds are encrypted and protected with strong passwords.

An IT security researcher based in Germany thinks he may have identified Insecam’s developer.

The researcher, who preferred to be identified by his Twitter handle @Tactic4l, published a blog post on his findings naming the man, but then decided to password-protect the post in case his conclusion is wrong. He has offered to make his findings available to select news media and law enforcement.

“The intention behind my article is not to start a smear campaign against someone,” he said via email on Sunday. “I might be totally wrong and I would then apologize. But so far I am trying to find the bigger context of all of this.

@Tactic4l said he looked at the source code for Insecam’s website and found a Facebook administrator ID as well as a Google analytics ID, which was used at least 15 other websites.

At least 11 of those websites listed a name in whois, which is the directory of website registrant information. More often than not, website registrants opt to make that information private, but in the case of the 11 websites, there is a name.

The name in the whois directory was the same as the Facebook profile found by @Tactic4l through the Facebook ID contained in Insecam’s source code. The man appears to live in Chisinau, Moldova. Efforts to reach him were not immediately successful.

@Tactic4l said he did get in touch with the man and tried to interview him, but the man responded with “Good try.”

@Tactic4l said the man illustrated a good point about the security issues around webcams but that he was probably making the situation worse by being relatively clandestine. Insecam’s creator should have put his real name on his website and explained to the media what his intentions are.

“That is finally what forced me to ‘come after him’,” @Tactic4l wrote. “I was horrified someone was willing to share people’s private moments.”

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