By Annalee Newitz
Over a year ago, computer security experts revealed that a popular webcam manufactured by TRENDnet wasn’t exactly secure. Because these cams are controlled via the web, it’s relatively easy to track down their IP addresses and peek through them. Though TRENDnet released a patch that was supposed to fix the problem, many consumers didn’t download it. And now, a group called TRENDnetExposed has created a handy web interface that allows you to see all the insecure devices on a Google map, click them, and instantly peek into hundreds of stores, homes, offices, and other places where TRENDnet cams are installed.
I just spent several minutes watching people shop in a convenience store in Argentina, then watched people buying pizza in southern California, and finally checked out a woman tallying up receipts in a Romanian office. I snapped a picture (above) of somebody’s living room at the border of Utah and Idaho. As the Verge’s Amar Toor points out, it’s creepy but mesmerizing. The point of the TRENDnet map is to alert owners of the cameras to download the patch that will prevent people from creeping on their cams — a link to the patch is displayed prominently at the top of the page.
If you have a TRENDnet cam, download that patch.