Need recommendations

Discussion in 'Cyber Security' started by Slp82, May 14, 2019.

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  1. Slp82

    Slp82 Young grasshopper

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    So my wife and I are new to the whole securtiy camera thing, and I have been on here doing some research over different cameras, and to kind of get our feet wet, we decided to order some Wyze cameras just because for the price, they are hard to beat. Then after actually reading some of the reviews on Amazon, it is pretty darn scary. Here are just a few:

    July 24, 2018 - "BEWARE! I previously gave this camera a Five Star review. I loved them, until today when I learned that they record Sound & Motion when they are TURNED OFF. I would turn them ON whenever I left my apartment and turned them OFF when I came home. Today I discovered, quite by accident, that the 2 cameras were recording ALL DAY LONG! One captured a cell phone conversation and another captured me completely naked when I was changing clothes. While the sound & motion was going on I received NO alerts of this activity. This hasn't happened before. I am horrified! Now I am being spied on in my own home. I now have both cameras unplugged & facing down. I can't tell you what is wrong. I do not recommend buying this camera."

    Nov. 28, 2017 - "The camera video quality is definitely good, but there is no privacy... Since there is no way to use the camera locally without their app and just using a regular app like "ip cam viewer" that simply uses RTSP, I ended up putting an SD card on it and disabling its internet access by assigning an IP that is restricted by my router...

    Well, to my surprise, the camera is CHINESE intelligent and decided to change its macaddress to a new one (completely different from the one in the back label) in order to gain a new IP from my router and regain internet access.

    Definitely not a safe cam for indoors..."

    Nov. 27, 2017 - "Not sure about how secure it is. They say they utilize a 3rd party called ThroughTek (offices in china and japan - none in US) to handle the transfer of videos. Wyze Cam claims the content is sent securely to aws. Examining the network traffic from camera shows that content is routed thru many providers including AWS, Linode (US) Vultr/Choopa (europe) and Aliyum/Alibaba (china). They seem to also utilize NTP server in Russia. To get more details.. search on web for "WyzeCam sending data to servers other than AWS" and you will find a Reddit article. How does Wyze ensure that ThroughTek is not eavesdropping?

    For me to trust Wyze Cam, I need to have clear control over end to end encryption of my data to ensure no 3rd party has any way of accessing my videos. Why can't the data be sent directly from my cam to AWS (s3 bucket)? Why can I not have access to AWS logs (s3 logs) to review which other IP address has accessed (or attempted to access) my content? Just claiming that this is a secure solution, doesn't work for me.

    Other than this security concern that I have, the end user experience is great for the camera in other respects. Of course the price is super good."

    We are going to be using these as indoor cameras and definitely do not want our personal lives out there for anyone to see. So my question is, is there a way to use a wireless (not ready yet for POE) camera but keep the video feed within the home network, and use a encrypted app to view the cameras on our phones, but it not been fed through some company like Wyze is clearly doing? I did recently buy a Amcrest 1080p PTZ indoor camera at the recommendation of some members in the Dahua section of this site. I have not yet set it up. If you have any camera/app recommendations, I would love to hear them. Thank you.
     
  2. looney2ns

    looney2ns IPCT Contributor

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    Avoid anycam that use's a cloud service.
    Avoid wifi cams, you'll regret it.
    Start educating yourself here>> Cliff Notes.
    Yes, you can securely view your cams, setup a VPN: VPN Primer for Noobs | IP Cam Talk
    How to Secure Your Network (Don't Get Hacked!) | IP Cam Talk
     
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  3. Slp82

    Slp82 Young grasshopper

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    Thank you for the reply. It seems this is a futile situation. We have had two serious problems in our neighborhood. First, teenagers vandalizing property, usually in the form of breaking or stealing sprinkler heads on the outer most edge of the property line (especially houses on the corners like ours). We had a total of 6 sprnklers broke/stolen 2 weeks ago. I just shut our system off until the kids hopefully grow tired of it, because everyone else who immediately replaced theirs, had them stolen or broken again almost immediately. Apparently they think its funny to see sprinklers shooting water straight up in the air like "old faithful" geyser. Most houses in our neighborhood have camera systems as the average home value is almost half a million. Unfortunately the police have told us all that unless the criminals either drop a wallet with ID, or leave a article of clothing behind with their name, and address written on it, even the camera footage does them no good and the county prosecutor will not proceed with charges unless the evidence is air tight 100%.

    Our second and most recent problem is a group of young adults have realized that their is a lot of nice trucks in our neighborhood with aftermarket wheels (like Fuel wheels) and often expensive larger tires (like 33" or 35" Nitto Ridge Grapplers) and have been coming between 2am and 430am with a crew of 5 to 6 guys and stealing the wheels and tires. They actually are on video on many houses, and they can steal a set of wheels and tires in under 3 minutes. The police reviewed a total of 14 camera systems that had them on video, including their vehicles (Dodge Charger and Ram pickup) but none of the 14 camera systems could pull a license plate number so they said there is nothing they can do. One of the residents who had their wheels and tires stolen this time said this is the 3rd set of $3,500 wheels and tires stolen from them in 4 years.

    They clearly are pros, as they bring blocks that are high enough to slide under the frame, then they use valve removers to deflate the tires instantly which the vehicle then rests on the blocks, and they dont need jacks. Also most of the vehicles had wheel locks and that didn't slow them down either. In fact one resident said every single one of his lug nuts were wheel locks to prevent this and they still got them in under 3 minutes.

    Short of having a dedicated license plate reader setup, I am now of the opinion that camera systems do not help much against criminals. Most of the time, they parked down a few houses away from where they were stealing the wheels, so I would have to install camera systems and license plate readers on not only my house, but at least a few houses in each direction for a block to ensure a license plate is caught.

    Currently after this string of theft, all the residents are upset so we have been talking to the HOA about raising rates to put in gates at the entrances to our community along with possibly dedicated license plate readers. I personally feel this will be the only way to resolve this along with a camera system on our house. Although this is still not a solution for the punk kids in our neighborhood vandalizing property. It's very frustrating.
     
  4. looney2ns

    looney2ns IPCT Contributor

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    Neighbor Hood watch comes to mind.
    Many subdivisions have done just that, they install cameras at all exits and entrances and license plate captures.
    Several are members here.
    The other thing is, clean out the garages and use them for their intended purpose.
    Talk to your local car accessory dealer about augmenting the cars/trucks factory alarms.
    You may consider the services of @bababouy Remote Video Surveillance Monitoring - CCTV Security Cameras - Florida

    A LOT of camera systems that are installed are done so poorly so they fail to capture good facial ID. The Rings, the Nests, Arlos of the world fall into this category as well as other inexpensive "kits".
    It takes time and planning to chose the proper cameras, and the proper len's, and proper placement of said cams to do it correctly.
    They can't be mounted on the 2nd story soffit, they can't all have 2.8mm "wide Angel" lens.
    Cams should be mounted no higher than 8ft.
    Lots of folks (and so called professional cam installers) fall into these gotchas.
    Again, read the Cliff Notes.
     
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  5. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee IPCT Contributor

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    :welcome:
    My standard welcome to the forum message.

    Please read the cliff notes and other items in the wiki. The wiki is in the blue bar at the top of the page.

    Read How to Secure Your Network (Don't Get Hacked!) | IP Cam Talk in the wiki also.

    Quick start
    1) Use Dahua starlight cameras or Hikvision darkfighter cameras or ICPT Night eye cameras (https://store.ipcamtalk.com/) if you need good low light cameras.
    2) use a VPN to access home network (openVPN)
    3) Do not use wifi cameras.
    4) Do not use cloud storage
    5) Do Not use uPNP, P2P, QR, do not open ports,
    6) More megapixel is not necessarily better.
    7) Avoid chinese hacked cameras (most ebay, amazon, aliexpress cameras(not all, but most))
    8) Do not use reolink, ring, nest cameras (they are junk)
    9) If possible use a turret camera , bullet collect spiders, dome collect dirt and reflect light (IR)
    10) Use only solid copper, AWG 23 or 24 ethernet wire. , no CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum)
    11) use a test mount to verify the camera mount location. My test rig: rev.2

    Cameras to look at
    IPC-HDW2231R-ZS
    IPC-HDW5231-ZE
    IPC-T5442TM-AS
    IPCT-HDW5431RE-I
    DS-2CD2325FWD-I


    Read,study,plan before spending money ..... plan plan plan
    Test do not guess
     
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  6. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    The problem is that you were not using a system that provides reliable accurate alerts and likely subpar images due to crappy cameras/crappy install or both . Simple as that. Wyze cameras are crap.
    Alternatively you can use a live video monitoring service.
    But you know better....
     
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  7. Slp82

    Slp82 Young grasshopper

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    Yes, thats why we returned it. That camera was honestly just meant to be a indoor camera so my wife could see which one of the kids was stealing ice cream out of the freezer after they got home from school (before we got home).

    I plan to put good outdoor cameras up, its just such a downer to see over a dozen camera systems caught these thieves on camera, but due to them wearing hoodies, parking cars side ways, no license plate reader cameras anywhere, none of the camera footage helped the police at all. The only thing they gained from the footage is that it was a Ram pickup, and Dodge Charger car, about 5 to 6 guys, and they average about 3 minues or less to take 4 tires. Nothing to identify them though.

    I think the other part of the discouragement is I called multiple "security camera" companies, and tried to get quotes for them to install MY cameras, and none of them want to install cameras that they dont sell. Armed with the knowledge I have learned here, they are all wanting to sell 8 MP, 6 MP or 4 MP cameras with wide angle lenses. They all said they never heard of Dahua and I just didn't feel like arguing with them.

    I don't feel comfortable running wires through the walls in my house as I have no experience doing this. Its a two story house, so its not as simple as running through the attic of a 1 story house. This is the first two story house I have ever lived in and only been here 8 months, so I still am not sure how to go about running at the ethernet wiring. I am comfortable installing the cameras if the ethernet wiring was ran to the locations I want to mount the cameras. I would also be comfortable setting up the computer with blue iris. I was also told that a electrician is not needed for something like this, and would charge way too much per hour, so I am not sure who to turn to, to just have some wires ran. Unless someone has some sort of tip on how to run wires without cutting holes in the walls everywhere on the lower portion of a two story house.
     
  8. Slp82

    Slp82 Young grasshopper

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    I read up on not mounting cameras higher than this for good facial recognition, but what about license plate readers focused in on a street section some distance away? I know I have read they recommend putting it at license plate level, and not too far of a angle to the side, but the only entrance to my section of the neighborhood comes down the back side of my property. I actually live on the corner of a cultasac so having a license plate reader at the front of my house would capture little to nothing.

    Now if it was mounted at the back corner, it would catch all traffic coming in or out. To achieve the license plate level, I would have to cut a hole in my fence and stick the lense through, which I have no doubt someone (probably one of the vandalizing punk kids) would smash it or spray paint it eventually as it would be right on the edge of a sidewalk and noticable.

    So my only thought was to mount it recessed inside a bird house about 7 feet off the ground on a pole viewing over my fence, just barely inside my back yard. This would keep it out of reach and view of everyone. Just not sure how effective the camera would be as a license plate reader mounted 7 feet high. It would be aimed out about 60 feet so a slope from 7 feet high down to 2 feet high over 60 feet might be ok huh?
     
  9. looney2ns

    looney2ns IPCT Contributor

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    An electrician that is certified in low voltage is the guy of choice. He does it day in, day out and has the tools.

    Most "security camera installers" only care about one thing, doing it as quickly and as cheaply as possible, for max profit.
    If they never heard of Dahua, then I'd run from any of them.
    Read the LPR subject area of this board.