Skip to main content

Reports suggest pervasive infection found in police body cams

reports suggest pervasive infection found in police body cams worn camera docking station  82958 1440696673 1280
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Like a virus, a computer worm is capable of attacking an operating system along with all of its comprised code. Unlike a virus, however, a worm can make copies of itself without the need for sentient assistance. Suffice it to say, with the right target in mind, these programs can be incredibly dangerous — especially if that target is an agency that is supposed to be preventing crime.

And that seems to be just what has happened, according to research firm iPower Technologies, which has concluded that one of the world’s most pervasive computer worms has been discovered in its police body cameras. The cameras were sent to the firm with the intent of developing a cloud-based video storage system for government agencies as well as police departments, according to a blog post.

The post suggests that a number of police cameras, crafted by Martel Electronics, had been infected with Win32/Conficker.B!inf, a well known worm that took root back in late 2008 to the dismay of over 15 million Windows PCs. iPower characterizes the worm as the worst kind of bloatware.

After connecting one of the cams to a computer in its lab, iPower techs discovered that it was prompting a cautionary notification from the antivirus software installed on the PC. Naturally, the researchers wanted to find out more, and allowed the worm penetrate the computer, and traced its further attempts to infect corresponding PCs sharing the same network.

“iPower initiated a call and multiple emails to the camera manufacturer, Martel, on November 11, 2015,” wrote the company in its blog post. “Martel staff has yet to provide iPower with an official acknowledgement of the security vulnerability. iPower President, Jarrett Pavao, decided to take the story public due to the huge security implications of these cameras being shipped to government agencies and police departments all over the country.”

Unfortunately, this means that — worst case scenario — if used as evidence in a judicial court, an attorney could opt to scrap the footage obtained from one of these police body cameras altogether, due to the nature of the infection, Ars Technica reports. Likewise, devices infected by a worm such as Conficker B. can cause network slowdowns, especially considering many police departments are operating on antiquated technologies, often insufficient to support basic security requirements.

Gabe Carey
Former Digital Trends Contributor
A freelancer for Digital Trends, Gabe Carey has been covering the intersection of video games and technology since he was 16…
Lenovo’s Surface Pro alternative is down to $330 today
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 front view showing display and keyboard.

Even with the discounts from Surface Pro deals, Microsoft's 2-in-1 laptops are still too expensive for some people, so here's a cheaper alternative -- the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 for only $330, following a $100 discount from Lenovo on its original price of $430. The versatile device isn't going to be sold at 23% off forever though, and in fact, it may be back to its regular price as soon as tomorrow, so if you think it's the perfect device for you, you should buy it right now to be able to pocket the savings.

Why you should buy the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3
As a detachable 2-in-1 laptop, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 features a similar design to Microsoft's Surface Pro devices. It starts as a tablet with an 11-inch 2K touchscreen, and it transforms into a laptop by attaching the keyboard cover that also serves as protection for the display when it's closed. This gives the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 versatility to handle different purposes -- for example, tablet mode makes it easier to browse social media, then you can switch to laptop mode when it's time to work on a document.

Read more
OpenAI just took the shackles off the free version of ChatGPT
ChatGPT results on an iPhone.

OpenAI announced the release of its newest snack-sized generative model, dubbed GPT-4o mini, which is both less resource intensive and cheaper to operate than its standard GPT-4o model, allowing developers to integrate the AI technology into a far wider range of products.

It's a big upgrade for developers and apps, but it also expands the capabilities and reduces limitations on the free version of ChatGPT. GPT-4o mini is now available to users on the Free, Plus, and Team tiers through the ChatGPT web and app for users and developers starting today, while ChatGPT Enterprise subscribers will gain access next week. GPT-4o mini will replace the company's existing small model, GPT-3.5 Turbo, for end users beginning today.

Read more