A U.S. private intelligence firm says that it intercepted ISIS communications that contained links to several IP-based security cameras — including a camera in Chardon, Ohio.
San Francisco-based BLACKOPS Cyber said the messages were captured on October 16 on a private, restricted telegram channel.
The messages contained links to several surveillance cameras that showed live video feeds from Mexico, Taiwan, Russia, Switzerland, Finland, Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic.
The only U.S. city included in the list was Chardon, Ohio.
The live feed shows three live camera angles on Chardon Square and appears to be coming from a camera above the Geauga Theater.
Chardon City Manager Randy Sharp said the camera has been there and the feed has been publicly available for viewing online for years.
The transmissions also included a YouTube video explaining how to view the cameras.
Paul Koblitz, Senior Security Consultant at Strongsville-based TrustedSec, said that there are several ways the camera could have been compromised. He said weak passwords and forced browsing through an “admin” backdoor could be to blame if the cameras weren't publicly available for viewing.
The messages did not explain how the links were discovered.
While it’s unclear why Chardon’s camera was involved, Koblitz said it was likely a vulnerable port and less likely a threat.
“It’s likely just a fear thing that’s one of the things that ISIS likes to do — to instill fear and doubt into the average person’s minds,” Koblitz explained.
BLACKOPS Cyber said the links may have come off of one server location that was compromised.