There's a huge underground market for secretly-filmed or hacked videos.
Do Not Disturb
Hackers in China are tapping into unsuspecting victims' home security cameras, recording them having sex, and selling the videos online.
It's a disturbing but surprisingly common crime, the South China Morning Post reports, as there seems to be a huge online market for the videos. Overall, it reveals just how vulnerable — and counterproductive — the internet-enabled cameras we keep pointing at ourselves can be.
The hackers reportedly tapped into tens of thousands of security cameras and have found a reliable customer base both for sex acts caught on home security and also for cameras that the cybercriminals themselves are hiding inside hotel rooms, according to SCMP.
They're selling the "home videos," as they're calling them, and setting up a sort of multi-level marketing scheme where their customers are encouraged to keep re-selling videos for even more. The hackers also sell login access to some of the cameras that they've compromised so viewers can tune in themselves.
"I have a dozen people traveling around the country and install cameras wherever they go," one hacker said in a voice chat with a group of VIP customers, according to SCMP. "Even if the hotel finds out, what we will lose is just a camera which is a few hundred yuan. We cut a couple of clips to sell online and we will cover that loss."
And strangely enough, some of the more popular videos — including an eight-hour-long recording of a family lazing at home — have nothing to do with sex. But that doesn't make them any less invasive or terrifying.
"Such videos are primitive," the hacker said. "Many people like such kind of stuff nowadays, watching people’s privacy, what they’re doing at the moment… You know what, I have sold this video several hundred times."
READ MORE: Hackers are stealing videos from private security cameras and selling them as home video tapes [South China Morning Post]
More on home security: Watch Terrifying Creeps Hack Ring Cameras and Spy on Families