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How public safety systems can be abused by nation state actors

Open-source systems such as nom or GitHub have been repeatedly abused to spread malware. Similarly, public safety systems that are designed to protect citizens from adversaries can be misused by threat actors to do the opposite. Nation-state actors can also reportedly target national security systems, particularly if they are open-source, and manipulate the data for malicious intent.

A recent investigation found that some of the UK’s traffic cameras and select public safety cameras are openly visible to any civilian. A security researcher analyzed an Automatic Number-Plate Recognition (ANPR) data leak from an online dashboard that powers surveillance cameras. The researcher was able to access webcams from Traffic England, and TflJamCams that boasts 877 cameras around London. The availability of the servers is primarily due to open data initiatives that aim to create more government transparency. However, it also creates a privacy concern for many individuals.

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OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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