Can Blink Cameras be Hacked? (A Safety Guide)

Last updated on April 13th, 2024

The first thing that comes to all our minds before installing a Blink camera security system is how secure it is. We want to know who has access to our data and how we can view it. In the case of Blink, the company provides encryption to the recorded videos.

But can Blink cameras be hacked? The answer is yes. They are prone to hacking. In this article, we will explore the safety of these cameras and how to arm ourselves against security threats.

Let’s begin by understanding what security protocols Blink uses for its cameras.

Blink is, after all, a company providing security solutions. They have put a certain level of security measures on all their devices. We will understand these protocols so we can be assured that we are not calling for a complete security mishap. We found that Blink uses three major security protocols for all its devices. Let’s see what those are.

1. Wi-Fi encryption

An illustration showing an encrypted Wi-Fi network
An illustration showing an encrypted Wi-Fi network

All the data recorded by the camera is transferred over a Wi-Fi network. So, to protect the network, the company uses WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access II) encryption channels. Moreover, the cameras also have an Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) for protection of your data. Many government bodies use AES to protect their systems. So you can trust the level of encryption.

2. Video encryption at the source

An encrypted video source illustration
An encrypted video source illustration

These cams encrypt all the recorded videos at the source. This means it has an added security layer the hacker will have to crack to view the main video. So, even if someone can gain access to the data, they will have to tackle the additional encryption added at the source.

3. Server encryption

An encrypted server illustration
An encrypted server illustration

Along with WPA2 and AES, their servers have an added layer of encryption for all videos that are stored in the cloud. This encryption is known to be of military grade. It is so secure that even company employees don’t have access to any of this data. However, this extra layer of protection is not available for locally stored videos on USB.

With all these security measures in place, these devices should be impenetrable. But, just like any other Wi-Fi-connected devices, these are not as safe as we think. So, can Blink cameras be hacked?

How safe are these cameras?

Blink camera is a safe security camera, but it has a few flaws of its own. In 2019, Tenable Inc., a cyber exposure company, did a security analysis of the XT2 camera. They found that it has severe vulnerabilities in its security. The security breach can give the hackers –

  • Full control of an affected device
  • They can remotely view live camera footage
  • Listen to audio
  • Hijack the device for use in a botnet to perform Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
  • Steal data
  • Send spam to your device
  • Obtain sensitive information about your account
  • View stored photographs and videos
  • Add or remove devices from the account
  • Block camera communications entirely.

After this study was released, Amazon took steps to minimize these threats. Their biggest step was the addition of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to the account. They constantly release firmware updates to tackle these possible threats and make cameras safer.

Yes, your Blink account is prone to hacking if you do not secure it properly. If you do not take proper measures to protect your account, it will be open to security risks. You should use a strong password, one that you are not using for any other account.

Don’t forget to turn on Multi-Factor Authentication to reduce the risk of security breaches. But to truly secure your account, you must understand how a Blink camera can be hacked.

In this section, we will cover all the possible ways in which your system can be attacked. Once you know these ways, you can work on solutions to overthrow these attacks. So, there are basically two types of privacy concerns – local hacking and remote hacking. Let’s see what these two entail.

Local hacking

Ways to hack a Blink security system
Ways to hack a Blink security system

For local hacking, the attacker has to be in close proximity to the camera of the Wi-Fi network. They use jammers or bots to breach the security of cameras. This type of attack is rare as getting so close to the network is often difficult. Some of the commonly used local hacking methods are

Network spoofing

Attackers block your Wi-Fi network using signal jammers so your camera is disconnected from the network. And they create a spoof network that looks similar to your original network.

So, without realizing anything is wrong, you connect your camera to this spoof network, and then the attacker has complete control over your camera and all the devices that you connect to this false network.

Bots

This is the most traditional method of hacking Wi-Fi networks. They will use a bot to bombard the network with several password combinations until they get the right one. Then, they can log in to the network and gain access to the information from your camera.

Packet sniffer

This is a kind of eavesdropping device that intercepts data when it is being transferred from your camera to the cloud. Then, the attacker can view all the recorded data from your camera, along with a live view.

Physical malware

This is the toughest kind of local attack because the attacker has to get physical access to your camera or Wi-Fi router. They install physical malware devices in your devices, which transfer all the data to a location of their choice.

Remote hacking

Remote hacking can be done from anywhere in the world. They don’t need to be physically near your network. That’s why this is the most common privacy concern with cameras. There are two ways to gain remote access to these devices. Those are credential stuffing and SQL injection.

Credential stuffing

Attackers try to gain access to your account login credentials via phone calls, email phishing campaigns, fake websites, security gaps, and data leaks. They try to log into your account by trying numerous combinations with the obtained information and eventually succeed. They get complete access to your account.

SQL injection

This type of hacking requires very good knowledge and specific tools. The hackers send small packets to the Blink servers, which trick the server into thinking that you, the account owner, are requesting to override certain commands. This can give them access to the camera.

Sync Module security concerns

We know that the Sync Module creates a single system of up to 10 devices. If hackers somehow get access to the Sync Module, they can control all the connected devices, too. This includes Mini cameras and video doorbells. This type of attack that gives access to multiple devices via a single device is known as ‘lateral movements’ or ‘lateral access.’

This is not a concern just for the Sync Module. Any device that is connected to your cam, like Alexa voice assistant, can be targeted in the same way, which can give them access to the cam.

Now that you know all the ways your Blink Mini camera can be hacked, it’s time to recognize if your camera has been hacked. Some hackers take control of the camera and block you out. That’s the most obvious sign, but what about those that are secretly accessing your data? Let’s see how to tell if your camera system is under attack.

There are basically two ways to tell if your Blink camera has been hacked.

  1. Unusual activity on the camera
  2. Unusual activity on the account

The table below contains all the signs to look out for in both of the above categories.

Unusual activity on the cameraUnusual activity on the account
Unusual sound from the cameraPoor video quality than before
Lesser efficiency of the camera than beforeLogin history from an unknown IP address
The camera is not responding to voice commandsLogin history from an unknown IP address
LED lights blink without reasonThe presence of an unknown app on your device
Changed view like tilt angle or zoomA large amount of data is stored on the cloud than usual
More internet consumption than before
Signs that your Blink camera is hacked

If you recognize one or more of these signs on your Blink system, there’s a chance it has been hacked. So what will you do in that case?

What to do if your camera is hacked?

Once you recognize that your Blink outdoor camera is hacked, it’s time to take quick action. The longer the attackers have access to your device, the more damage they can do. That’s why you should take the steps very quickly:

  • Send an email to Blink that your camera system has been hacked.
  • Notify your internet service provider that your Blink camera is hacked. This is because the attacker could be using your Wi-Fi network to access the device.
  • Reset all devices in your home.
  • Change your account username and password. Don’t use any of the previous login credentials.
  • Uninstall the Home Monitor app and install it again. Connect all the devices to the newly installed app.
  • Change your Wi-Fi network name and password.
  • Set up Multi-Factor Authentication if you already haven’t.

It’s never too late to take these steps. You might be able to gain complete access to your camera back. To avoid these situations, you should take proper care right from the beginning. Take the proper steps to prevent the Blink camera from being hacked.

Tips to prevent this

There are always ways to protect your devices against unauthorized access from attackers. The following measures will give your camera the ultimate protection you can:

Update firmware from time to time

Blink frequently releases firmware updates. These updates have added security details for your devices. If you do not install these updates as they come, your camera becomes prone to attacks. So, it’s important that you update camera and even Wi-Fi firmware updates in a timely fashion.

Update password frequently and use different login credentials for each account

Changing your Blink account password frequently can protect your devices from credential stuffing. The attackers will have a hard time cracking your password as you update it often. Also, use different passwords for different logins. Using the same password for all your accounts is not safe. For those who don’t know how to update your password, here’s the procedure:

Step 1: Open the Blink app and tap on ‘Settings’.

Step 2: Select ‘Account and Privacy’ from the settings.

Step 3: Tap on ‘Password’ and on ‘OK’.

Step 4: You’ll be asked to verify this request with MFA.

Follow the onscreen instructions and verify that it’s you trying to change the password.

Step 5: Enter your new password and click on ‘Change Password’.

And you have successfully reset your password. You’ll be required to log in again with the new password.

Secure Wi-Fi network

Ensure that your Wi-Fi network has the latest security updates. Use a strong password for this network, as it can give attackers access to all devices on this network. Also, set a limit on the number of devices that can connect to this network. So, unwanted devices will not be able to gain access even if they manage to break through the password.

Don’t place cameras in vulnerable locations

We can only do so much to prevent our Blink cameras from getting hacked. But here’s a pro tip to protect our privacy. Don’t install Blink cameras in locations where you spend private moments like bathrooms, bedrooms, rooms where you change your clothes, etc. This way, even if the system gets attacked, you won’t find yourself or your family members in a vulnerable position.

We understand the need for all-round security, but it’s not worth the risk.

Conclusion

Blink cameras are vulnerable to attacks, just like all devices connected to a Wi-Fi network. Attackers can locally or remotely hack your Blink devices. This can also give them access to the rest of the smart devices connected to the same network. You should take necessary precautions like a strong password and firmware updates to protect your cameras from such attacks.

You should also be well aware of signs to look for if you suspect your device is under attack. If you recognize an attack, alert the authorities and take necessary measures to take back complete control of your Blink camera.

FAQs

How can you tell if someone is watching your Blink camera?

You can tell if someone is watching your Blink camera if you get denied live access or if your videos are played before you do.

Can Blink cameras hear conversations?

Yes, Blink cameras can hear conversations as they record audio along with the video when their motion sensor is triggered.

Photo of author

Siddhi Gurav

She is the editor and content writer at Smart Home Bulls. Siddhi merges her passion for language with SEO expertise. With 4 years of experience as a creative writer and a passion for smart home technology, she fits in perfectly at Smart Home Bulls. Her wide experience in content marketing has been an excellent addition to our team.

Leave a Comment