Posts Tagged ‘ CCTV system’

Your CCTV system was hacked! Can you prevent it?

Written By:
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

In the last few years the CCTV industry went through major changes, from analog to digital and from stand alone to network connected. And, setting up a system today, you need more knowledge in networking then in Video Audio systems. The majority of end users prefer their system connected to their business or home computer network. The main advantage of that decision is so they can access their CCTV system from multiple devices or multiple locations. The main disadvantage of such ability is security.


3-4 years ago, the main complaints about the failure of the surveillance system were fairly ordinary: splattered paint, broken camera, stolen camera, failure to record and etc. Today, when your CCTV system is integrated into your corporate network, the system becomes a target as well as a weak spot for hackers that will take advantage and will use your CCTV system to do one of of the following:

  1. Watch and listen to any video/audio content that your system is recording or viewing
  2. Share the privacy of your home with the rest of the world
  3. Access your computer network through the back door of the CCTV system
  4. Simply turn your system off when they need to illegally infiltrate your property

Be sure to consult with experts in the installation of video surveillance systems. They are always exploring new as well as the most likely vulnerabilities. In each case, security protection requires expertise and may result in a high or low degree of protection of CCTV devices. But, right now, I want to talk about the basic configuration of a security setup for a CCTV system that will eliminate 99% of the hack attempts on your system. Here is an example!

In the last couple of weeks we started to get phone calls from customers that complained about strange occurrences with their DVR/NVR. When they access their security recorder through a web-interface they cannot view their cameras under live preview. An error message pops on their screen that says, “No Rights”. Some of the users can view the cameras but cannot login into the “Settings” tab getting the same error message on their screen. Those issues occurred only when they try accessing the DVR/NVR through web-interface. When local access is used, there is no issue at all. The Techpro technical support team researched the issue for a couple of weeks and here what we found.


Any DVR/NVR that is purchased from our has a default setup of 4 user accounts. 2 of them are admin accounts and the other 2 are the guest accounts. The 2 guest accounts, the “guest” is for web-interface access and the “666666” is for local access. Both are very limited and are used to limit the access of your guest with what they can view or use. The other 2 admin accounts are the important ones. The “888888” account is for local use only and the “admin” account is your most important account since it can be used to access the DVR/NVR in any way you like and make changes as you wish. Those capabilities make this account very important and also very important to protect. When we checked the user accounts, we found a fifth account, “system” account. The name has nothing to do with your system and it is implemented to conceal the real objective of this account which is to gain administrative privileges to your system. We started to investigate on how this account could have goten there and discovered that all the users that got hacked by this method had one thing in common. They were using the default password “admin” for the admin account, which is a violation of the most basic security protocols in any computer system. The solution for this security breach is simple! Delete the fifth account, named “system” and change your administrative password for the “admin” account from “admin” to your chosen password. Remember that your password cannot exceed 6 characters in our systems. Don’t forget also to change the password on all the devices you are using to access this DVR/NVR system.


It is still hard for us to understand why 50% of our customers that is so aware of the security on their computer system, fail to secure their CCTV system and keep the factory default password, which makes it even worse than an unsecured computer network. Can you imagine if someone is using your system to watch and record your actions when you are in the privacy of your own residence and they also know when you are not at home so they can break into your house or mess up your alarm system without you suspecting anything? These are incidents which can be avoid by simply changing the default password.


There are many additional tips on securing your CCTV system when setting up your remote access. Here are a few simple rules that you should follow:

  • When forwarding ports for your CCTV system on your router, do not use the DMZ (demilitarized zone) feature for your surveillance system on your router since enabling this feature will give the user unlimited access to the DVR/NVR that is on the network.
  • When you have multiple cameras connected to your NVR, do not forward the ports for all those network cameras. It is unnecessary, since the cameras are used by an NVR that is already forwarded for the remote access.
  • Instead of giving the user your admin password, create a user account and allow access only to features that he needs and uses.
  • Remember to change the password as often as you can, it will definitely make any hackers life harder to access your system.

Today’s hackers have the ability to hack any system that surrounds us. Every day more new malicious programs are invented and they become more aggressive and unsafe. Since any device or gadget cannot work without human factor the simplest safe way we can protect ourselves is to limit the access to our devices by following some basic safety rules.

For more information please call Techpro Security tech support department at 866-573-8878. You can also post questions and read up on other technical savvy people at our Online CCTV Security Camera Forum.


Video Surveillance – Why is it important to have a CCTV system?

Written By:
Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

First thing to decide is what do you want to accomplish with your CCTV system. There are many reasons to consider a camera system, but what is your primary desire? If it is watching over your home, you need to concentrate on the perimeter, meaning you will need high resolution cameras that will work day and night. A good idea is to watch the approaches, driveway, outdoor storage areas. Have a boat stored? Put a camera on it. There are many reasons to own a CCTV system.

If you want protection for your store, you will need to decide where your important areas are. Obviously, entry and exit points. You will want to watch over high value, easily-lifted products with a sharp focus lens. Cash register area should have an overview camera and a camera on the cash register. Liquor storage area needs special attention. Coolers seem to draw problem employees for extended, unseen break times. They tend to eat up your food there, too. Beer missing? You will quickly find out who and when. High value food products have a bad habit of disappearing out the back door. Put a camera outside that back door. It is always suggested to install a camera in the manager’s office, just to make sure he really is working and not watching porn or other unsavory things when he really has better things to do. Being able to watch delivery men can be very worthwhile, as there is a good chance you are being cheated by them. Have you had a slip and fall yet? A properly laid out system can make sure that you will be able to spot a fake accident when it happens. There is nothing better than being able to say “We have it on video!!” Generally a very good idea to be able to watch over the parking area. Seeing a guy walking up with a hoodie over his face? Get ready! Have a customer come in and scream that somebody backed into her car? You will see who is really at fault. Just having the ability to observe all activity will give peace of mind.

Have an industrial facility? Applications for a camera system are numerous. Watch over dangerous work areas, so you can make sure all rules are being obeyed. Problems with employees sneaking out to smoke weed? You can stop that. Valuable tools and parts missing? Stop that, too. Somebody made a mess out of the workplace? Call them in and tell them to go clean it up. Chances are that everybody in there will know about the counseling and will realize that you really are watching them. Powerful tool. Lazy employees will hate being watched and caught. But, you can talk to them about their bad habits, and hopefully get them to change their ways. If not, termination can be done without repercussions. Again, having it on video works very well. At times, an employee will clock out for a buddy. That is costing you money. A camera at the time clock area will make them not want to take the chance of getting caught. Applications for a camera system in these facilities are all over the place. Also consider that you will have the ability to watch over thing even when you are not there. All of our video systems give you the ability to look in even if you are on the other side of the world, via computer, smart phone, or tablet.

Have a car dealership? Wow, you really need a good system. Properly placed cameras can spot a theft before it even happens, and if being watched from a monitoring facility, authorities can be dispatched quickly and to exactly the right place. This also allows for a scaled response. Cops really like to know what to expect when they arrive on site. How much lot damage do you get? It would really be nice to be able to establish responsibility for that dented Mercedes. Do your sales people respond properly to walk-ins or do they attack like a pack of wolves? Or worse yet, NOT respond. Observe and counsel. Stolen tools are a real pain. A tech needs his tools, he pays for them, when they go missing, he can’t get his work done. If everybody knows that they can’t get away with it, even when Joe leaves that Snap-On torque wrench out. It will still be there when he comes back. Is someone stocking up their home office with your supplies? Stop that. Lunch room shenanigans? Nope, not now. How much aggravation does a lunch thief cause? Too much.

These very different applications call for different solutions. It is important to think over what you want out of a system, and then call us. Our staff has many years of experience, including installation and service. Quality of video products has improved greatly in the past few years. We now feature true high definition cameras that deliver megapixel resolution at pricing very close to the old style analog cameras. Response from our dealers has been phenomenal. Keep in mind that when you deal with Security Camera King you are not just getting a box of parts. You are getting Brad, Chuck, Dan, Zeke and a bunch more really talented experts in the field. On our website, check out the customer reviews of the products. Almost every one will say something about the support that they got in the purchase experience. Whether you have a simple shop or a 200,000 SF warehouse, we can, and will, assist you in making the proper equipment choice. We consider a security system to be an investment, not just an expensive toy. We will make sure that you make an intelligent investment choice, and then we will stand behind your system. You will get our superb tech support when you do your install, and for as long as you have the system. This service includes helping you with the more challenging parts, where our techs will remotely access your system and make whatever adjustments needed, and for as long as you have the system. That level of service is unheard of in our industry.


License Plate Color Camera

Written By:
Monday, November 21st, 2011

License plate color cameras are designed to do exactly what the title says:  They take digital video pictures of vehicle license plates, with higher quality cameras able to do so when the vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed (for example, 90 mph).  Security Camera King offers one such camera for the job, so for the remainder of this article our focus will be on Product# VSSC-54CDNR-90 a 540 TVL High-Speed License Plate Capture Camera.


A license plate color camera has to possess certain qualities that you wouldn’t find in a typical camera of the same type.  For example the camera has to be fast enough (shutter speed) in order to “freeze the motion” of the vehicle, reduce the glare of the tag light at night, and render the brake lights and other possible detrimental light sources as non-problematic.


If you are thinking about purchasing a license plate capture camera there are a few things you should know and /or do, the following is an abbreviated list:

  • License plate capture isn’t easy.  Television shows will often show police labs that can enlarge a photo of a car which is several hundred feet away and traveling fast.  They just magically move some pixels around and Viola!  There’s the clearest picture of the license plate ever scene.  That’s TV and it’s not that easy; of course license plate capture can be done but you have to have the right equipment and follow the correct procedures.
  • The significant difference between license plate color cameras and other digital video color cameras is the license plate color camera has an adjustable shutter speed control.  The faster the shutter speed, the better the quality of the image when trying to “stop motion” to capture an image.
  • Capturing license plates at night can be very difficult without the proper equipment.  A highly illuminated plate against the dark night time background will yield a bright block of white with no numbers on it.   Unless you use a license plate color camera that has the right functions and features on it such as Wide Dynamic Range (WDR), Digital Noise Reduction (DNR) and a high speed shuttle for stop motion shots.
  • Placement of the camera is crucial to successful plate capture as well.   Most license plate color cameras need to be placed somewhere where the vehicle is beginning to slow down such as a gate, speed bump, and so on.  However Security Camera King’s license plate color camera can capture plates on vehicles moving as fast as 90 mile per hour!  Ideally, the camera should be positioned about 20 to 30 feet from the bumper of the vehicles.  The camera should be just a few feet off the road at a height between about 2.5 and 9 feet high.  Also, the lens needs to be zoomed in so that the rear bumper of the car fills the frame with no more than half order to extricate each end of the bumper.  Handing the lens cropped correctly will maximize the size of the letters and numbers on the plate making it easier to capture of the DVR.
  • Remember that when set-up properly the license plate cameras is for that purpose only. You will not be able to see other things in the area.  You more than likely will not be able to see other things in the area.  The camera will not yield a description of the car the color of the car driver or other items.  Use the second and lower third camera for that purpose.  License plate color cameras are generally made for one purpose to capture license plates in one lane.
  • Other things you will need includes a quality DVR capable of recording at 704X480 resolution were higher.  Five images per second recording speed is an absolute minimum and prerecord motion detection is very useful.  You will need a small service monitor what you go to adjust these cameras.  You can forget the “use the cell phone approach” to adjusting the camera it just won’t work.  Of course you will need other standard things like the proper coaxial cable, a sufficient Power Supply, a quality monitor and all the usual things that go with any form of CCTV System.


If you have any questions about a license plate color camera please feel free to contact one of our security experts via either on-line live chat or by telephone at 866-573-8878.


What is a CCTV System?

Written By:
Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

“What is a CCTV System” we’ll attempt to answer that question in the following article.  It is a broad description for a security and surveillance system. Nothing can provide the power of security and surveillance better than a Closed Circuit Television or CCTV digital system.  Analog digital security provides adequate security and surveillance, but with the advent of the CCTV digital system there are far more beneficial features and options available.  In fact there is a CCTV digital system for just about every security or surveillance situation

A standard CCTV system is based on component technology.  That means that individual devices (i.e. components) can usually be mixed and matched to adapt to a variety of uses to create the ultimate CCTV system.  The three components, digital cameras, Digital Video Recorders or DVRs, and monitors provide the flexibility of versatile applications while maintaining the power and integrity of a single, complete and easily controllable system.

CCTV systems are expandable so they are great for both residential and commercial applications.  Security Camera King offers the “Complete 16 Channel (i.e. 16 camera inputs) DVR Ultimate Security Camera Package with Bulk Cable” as its finest, top-of-line digital system.  Although this package can handle sixteen channels which is adequate for most security applications, if more cameras are required, additional cameras with an additional DVR can be added.

Another answer to “What is a CCTV System?” is that CCTV system camera’s have a wealth of features and options to make them applicable to almost any application.  In addition to the standard box, bullet, or dome shaped cameras CCTV digital systems can easily employ the use of covert video surveillance cameras such as hidden or disguised cameras.  This is possible because the digital cameras can be manufactured in such incredibly small sizes.

In addition, the electronic sensor inside the camera that converts the light energy emitted by the objects in the camera’s field of view can also inherently detect near infrared radiation.  In fact, most non-infrared cameras have an infrared filter over the sensor to block out the near infrared light.  This inherent ability to detect infrared radiation makes the camera an excellent choice for night time or total darkness video monitoring applications.  The camera’s sensor can detect the infrared light but it is invisible to the human eye.

Other optional features of CCTV digital systems include using the Internet for networking cameras or DVRS and for providing access to CCTV digital systems anywhere in the world that there is broadband Internet access and a suitable device (computer or smartphone).

CCTV systems can also have object tracking or following as part of the software that is supplied with either the DVR or Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras.  Object tracking makes CCTV systems an excellent choice for commercial parking lots or for following individuals in open spaces.

Digital Video Recorders, like their analog ancestors the VHS or Beta video recorder, can store digital video files for later use or archiving, or can render them in real-time for live viewing.  Security Camera King’s featured DVRs even have the ability to stream the digital images from our CCTV systems over the Internet.  Unlike analog recording mediums, long-term digital storage media (CDs and DVDs for example) don’t allow the quality of the video image to degrade over time.

The third component of the CCTV digital system, the digital monitor, has also offered vast improvements over its analog ancestor the CRT monitor.  Digital monitors can provide High Definition (HD) images or several camera images on just one monitor.  In addition, these monitors are much lighter so they can easily be wall or ceiling mounted.  Furthermore, they use a lot less power to produce their pictures than their older counterparts.

Finally, since every component of a CCTV digital system now operates based on digital data, many of the individual electronic parts of the system are the same parts used in the personal computer world.  CCTV digital system cameras are similar to webcams; DVRs are similar to computer hard disk drives; and security monitors are similar to computer monitors.

We hope this answers the question, “What is a CCTV system?”  As you can see it is a broad topic with a lot of different definitions.

If you have any additional questions about the individual components of a CCTV digital system or are considering the purchase of a CCTV digital system, contact one of our security experts today.  They are easily accessible via the “Live Chat” option or by telephone.


Video Surveillance Cameras

Written By:
Monday, March 21st, 2011

Today’s video surveillance cameras have made “leaps and bounds” in technological improvements compared to the cameras from just 10 to 15 years ago.  Not only that, but the camera’s prices have steadily decreased with the increase in technology.  All of this has lead to video surveillance cameras becoming a “household word” for family protection and safety as well as business protection and workplace documentation.

Original video surveillance cameras were based on analog signals.  These systems and components of the systems were often referred to as CCTV or Closed Circuit TeleVision.  CCTV was so named because although it closely resembled a typical television studio system, there was one major important difference.

Studio television cameras’ video signals were boosted by the broadcast station and sent via radio frequency via a large antenna.  Once the signal left the broadcast antenna, anyone with a receiver could pick up the signal.  Video surveillance cameras however, sent their signal along a cable, directly to a specific monitor and recording device.  In this respect, the system was a “Closed Circuit Television” system.  In fact, any system used for monitoring, surveillance, or security in this manner was referred to as a CCTV system.

Today, video surveillance cameras still operate on a CCTV based system, but to be accurate, we must redefine CCTV to make it somewhat looser in application.  Although modern digital video surveillance cameras also transmit their video signals via a cable to a Digital Video Recorder or DVR and one or more monitors, they also employ additional methods for transmitting their signals that must be taken into consideration of the definition of CCTV as well.

These cameras may also transmit their video data wirelessly via an on-board camera transmitter and antenna.  These cameras use modern day wireless technology often used in land-line based telephones such as 2.4 or 5.8 GHz technology or 900Mhz technology for broadcasting their signal.  These systems are designed to transmit their signals only a fraction of the distance of the older systems, as they are aimed at sending their signals to a nearby receiver, which is usually plugged in by cable, to a DVR and/’or monitor.

Another method that is employed today is the use of the Internet as a vehicle for networking and transmitting.  Both video surveillance cameras and DVRs have the capability for connecting to the Internet.  When they do possess this feature they are often referred to as Internet Protocol or IP ready, because they deliver their transmission using IP format technology.

Although it is true that individuals other than who the video images are intended for can gain access surreptitiously, the intent of these wireless broadcasts and Internet transmissions are directed to a limited number of very specific viewers.  Thus, although our definition for CCTV as now become a bit broader in scope, it is easy to see why even today, video surveillance cameras are often called CCTV cameras.

While we are on the subject of CCTV versus new video surveillance cameras, it would be prudent to mention that there is some carry over from the “analog days” of CCTV to the current “digital era” which can make the comparison of components or the selection of a system somewhat confusing.  This primarily involves the use of reference to the detail or resolution of the video image created by the camera and displayed by the monitor.

Electronic video images may show a varying degree of detail.  That is evidenced by the contrast between standard television broadcasts and those called High Definition (HD).  Television was originally displayed on a Cathode Ray Tube or CRT (also called the “picture tube”).  The CRT reproduced the image on its screen by shooting an electron beam horizontally at the rate of about 60 times per second.  To a large degree, the number of horizontal lines determined how detailed the video appeared.  The more lines, the smaller the lines, the greater the detail of the picture.

Today, however, most televisions are like computer monitors; they are either Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD), plasma, or Light Emitting Diode (LED) displays.  These monitors display tiny dots called pixels instead of horizontal lines, therefore, they can display a much higher detail picture.  Yet, many video surveillance cameras still specify their picture quality in terms of the older, horizontal line method.  Its important to know that the lower end of resolution or detail is from about 300 up to 650 TVL (TeleVision Lines).  Video surveillance cameras with 650 TVL displays can produce very high definition video images.