A year later, giant Chinese security camera company's products are still a security dumpster-fire

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/12/white-label-deniability.html

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And this, kids, is why buying dirt-cheap products with bullshit names on Amazon is a very, very, very bad idea.


I would never have imagined that a profit-driven company selling cheap tat in foreign countries would not bother to deal with the issues their customers have.

I would also never imagine in my whole life that such a company would ever repeat the trick on a gullible public with a different name.


The real tragedy is the extent to which the flea market grade stuff has poisoned the market at large.

Unless you are a very canny shopper(and possibly even then, I’m mentioning this just to avoid making an absolute statement when I can’t rule out counterexamples, not because I have good advice); you pretty much have three options:

The ocean of fluidly branded utter crap; the (sometimes) competent; but basically feudal, ones that are locked down because ensuring that the vendor’s ‘cloud’ service remains exciting and mandatory for the life of the device was a key design objective; or the ‘enterprise’/'systems integrator’s ones that tend to have nicer build quality and PoE and such, and are at least not designed to burrow through your firewall; but which are not so competent as their prices would suggest(both sticker and in ‘high end’ pleasures like ‘support’ and ‘maintenance’ contracts that don’t necessarily include much of either; having to buy license keys to unlock basic features(paying your DVR to actually record video from your cameras has always been one of my favorites).

If it were merely the case that they got shoddier as they got cheaper that would be one thing; but having an entire product area divided into a few flavors of suck is rather worse.


BoingBoing, are you selling some of these in your store? I notice this maker (zmodo) is among the list:


Cheap-shit cameras go on the outside of the house, viewing public areas. Decent cameras go inside the house, or pointing at private outdoor sections. Always keep the firmware updated. Always change the default passwords. Always turn UPnP off on your router.

For ultra-private areas, either have no cameras or roll your own weird solution with a Linux SBC, USB webcam and motion with access via a VPN or something.

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