Amazon has removed an ieGeek branded camera from sale on its website after a Which? investigation revealed it could be easily hacked by cybercriminals.
The £40 camera, which was labelled Amazon’s Choice, had more than 8,500 reviews (as of June 22 2021), including 68% giving the full five stars.
If you own the ieGeek Security Outdoor Camera 1080p, you should change its default password immediately, or better still, stop using it.
Fortunately there are plenty of good options if you are after a cheap camera to keep an eye on your home. Read on for more.
Wireless security camera reviews – head here for all our indoor and outdoor cameras that have been tested and reviewed.
ieGeek security camera hacked
As part of a Which? investigation into how a smart home could be at risk from hackers, we bought the £40 ieGeek camera from Amazon and set it up alongside other gadgets.
We spotted in our logs that someone was actively viewing the camera feed. They had also changed some settings – and appeared to have accessed the device after rightly guessing the camera’s default username and password as both being ‘admin’.
While we taped over our camera lens and so the attacker didn’t see anything, if this were in your home they could now view the camera feed. They could also use the camera to attack other devices on your home network.
We believe that the attacker was by a known Russian IP address abuser who often routes activity through the Netherlands to cover their tracks.
Amazon removes ieGeek’s camera from sale
We first discovered security issues with ieGeek cameras back in June 2018, when we found a flaw that meant anyone could easily access the live video feeds of more than 200,000 other ieGeek camera users, and even talk to those users via the camera’s microphone.
ieGeek fixed this issue, but we were back criticising the brand (among others) in further investigations into security flaws found on cheap wireless cameras.
Not all ieGeek cameras can be easily hacked, but we have found enough over the years to give us cause for concern about the brand.
We have been unable to contact ieGeek, and so instead alerted Amazon about the issues found. Amazon then removed the ieGeek camera from sale.
Amazon told us: ‘We require all products offered in our store to comply with applicable laws and regulations and have developed industry-leading tools to prevent unsafe or non-compliant products from being listed in our stores.’
What should I do if I own this camera?
If you own the ieGeek camera, we’d advise you to change its default password in the app settings. This won’t completely remove the hacking risk, but will make the camera a bit safer than in its default state.
Better still, you should stop using it and could try returning it to where you bought it and requesting a refund.
Cameras tested for performance and security
All wireless cameras we assess go through a barrage of tests for how well they have been designed and produced.
We look at the video quality to see if CCTV is grainy or sharp and clear, and if the camera can be easily be set up and used (including installation for outdoor cameras).
Most importantly, though, we run an industry-leading set of tests that assess whether the camera protects both your privacy and security against unwanted attention from hackers.
We report any problems that we find to the manufacturers, and if they aren’t fixed in a timely manner, we can either remove a Best Buy award or in the most extreme cases, automatically make that camera a Don’t Buy.
All of the camera models featured below did well in our testing, but not all our Best Buys.
Find out how our new Security Notice can be an invaluable warning for at-risk devices.
Wireless security cameras for under £50
You needn’t spend the earth on a wireless camera you can trust – all the models below passed our tough security tests.
Blink Mini, £35
This low -price, Blink Mini indoor security camera is small, discrete and easy to use – so it looks an excellent buy on paper.
However, a few question marks remain, such as over video-storage options, so make sure you read our Bink mini review before parting with your cash.
And if you need a camera for the outside of your home, try our Blink Outdoor review instead.
Ring Stick up Cam Battery, £80
Made by the Amazon-owned Ring brand, this camera can be placed inside your home, or mounted on the outside to protect a driveway or back gate.
The camera has night vision capability and motion detection, and it comes with a rechargeable battery pack so doesn’t require mains power.
See if this versatile wireless camera made the Best Buy grade in our Ring Stick Up Cam Battery review.
TP-Link Tapo C200, £25
TP-Link makes a wide range of wireless cameras, including this Tapo branded model for use inside of your home.
It has all the features you’d expect – night vision, motion detection, etc – and the view can be panned using a motor through the full 360 horizontal range, and 114 degrees vertically, so you won’t need to worry where you place the camera.
Not all TP-Link cameras are worth buying, so check if this model is up to scratch in our TP-Link Tapo C200 review
Eufy Indoor Cam 2K, £40
You might not have heard of Eufy, but this little indoor camera is giving big name brands such as Ring and Blink a run for their money.
Although it’s claimed to have 2K picture quality, that’s actually just for event recordings to a local SD card. However, the default Full HP 1080p video is certainly good enough for continuous or live recording.
Find out how it fared under rigorous testing in our Eufy Indoor Cam 2K review
Ezviz C1C, £25
Ezviz cameras are available from a range of retailers, including Amazon, Argos and Currys PC World.
The price of this cheap camera is certainly reflected in the fact that it only has 720p video quality, but you do get infrared night vision up to 12 meters and can store video clips on an SD card.
See if this camera is cheerful as well as cheap in our Eziv C1C review.
Top tips for staying secure
Even if a smart device doesn’t have any issues in our tests, you should still adopt good security practice with anything connected to your home.
- Change default passwords: Passwords really do matter, as our experience with the ieGeek camera shows. Weak default passwords make devices a breeze to hack, so make sure you change any password that comes with a camera you buy.
- Enable all security: It’s worth taking some time to check what other security features are available in the manual or app settings. Two-factor authentication is very useful if available in the app, but you might also be able to use fingerprint or face ID in your phone.
- Run updates: Security updates give vital protections for the product or app against any hacking threats. If you see that an update is available, always run it as soon as possible. And even better – set updates to run automatically so you don’t need to remember.