Officials Say Prison Cameras Were Hacked, Broadcast on YouTube

Image: BigBrother’s Gaze / YouTube

BANGKOK (AP) — Authorities in Thailand say they are investigating an apparent online break-in by a computer hacker that allowed him to broadcast surveillance video from inside a prison in the country’s south.

Thai media reported that the video was broadcast live on YouTube for several hours Tuesday by an account with the name BigBrother’s Gaze. It showed prisoners’ activities from several different security cameras.

A Corrections Department official confirmed that the security camera system at Lang Suan Prison in the southern province of Chumphon was hacked by an unknown person from outside Thailand.

Many surveillance cameras, along with other gadgets, are linked online in what has become known as the Internet of Things, or IoT. Security for such items is often neglected by their users, allowing access by unauthorized parties.



The official, who asked not to be identified because she was not authorized to release such information, said the department learned of the incident from a reporter who stumbled on to the broadcast.

Corrections Department Director-General Police Col. Narat Sawettanan ordered the prison to turn off the surveillance camera system and investigate the incident. He also ordered the prison commander to file a complaint with the police.

The video, which incorrectly described itself as showing a Bangkok prison, was not available Wednesday on the YouTube channel, which did contain video from security cameras at a Thai company’s office, street views of Salt Lake City, an office in Australia and a café in Amsterdam.