Chinese webcam manufacturer to recall thousands of units due to cyber attack

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A traveller uses webcam to talk on a notebook as she waits for information near the counters of Cathay Pacific at Hong Kong Airport April 20,2010. Reuters/Tyrone Siu

In the aftermath of a major cyber attack in China last week, manufacturer Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology Co has announced that it will recall 10,000 webcam units. The attack itself was new to the tech world, as it harnessed thousands and thousands of webcams in order to block access to some of the world’s biggest websites.

As noted by Reuters, US-based Internet infrastructure provider Dyn was flooded with more traffic than it could handle. As such, access to various websites were cut, including Twitter, Spotify and PayPal. After some investigation, it was found that webcams produced by Hangzhou Xiongmai were accessed for the attack, which is why the Chinese company is recalling many of its units, which were sold in the US.

READ: Chinese firm blames hacked connected devices behind Friday's DDOS attack

Xiongmai's marketing director Liu Yuexin confirmed that there about 10,000 vulnerable units that will need to be recalled. These units are part of the first few batches of surveillance cameras that were made in 2014 and currently monitor various rooms that span personal and commercial use.

Liu went on to urge various users to change their passwords and block telnet access. However, he was adamant that the company has already fixed all the loopholes in its earlier products.

READ: Forcing tech companies to build nonexistent hacking technology might end both brand and consumer privacy

The cyber attack also pushed US Senator Mark Warner to reach out to three federal agencies in order to create a plan that can deter future attacks. In a letter, Warner reached out to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission to inquire whether or not they have ample tools to battle future threats.

On the part of DHS, the agency confirmed that it had already been in contact with as much as 18 major communications service providers. Furthermore, it is working to develop “strategic principles” that will hopefully strengthen the security surrounding Internet-connected devices.