Illegal hidden cameras, also known as ‘spy cameras,’ are one of the most serious issues not only in Korea but also in the world. The volume of leaked videos per day is alarmingly high. You may have been left speechless at least once while watching the cunning methods of recording and disseminating that are reported in the media.

Small, quiet, Wi-Fi-enabled cameras are no longer the most popular choice among buyers. The trend now is to choose cameras disguised as everyday objects, such as picture frames, pens, and smoke alarms, as they are less likely to be noticed or suspected, making them ideal for spy cameras.

Today, we will discuss a case where an OSINT search engine uncovered a large amount of shocking hidden camera footage.

Shocking Illegal Footage Exposed to the Internet 

We discovered illegal footage from Chinese hidden cameras using Criminal IP OSINT Intelligence. The footage was found while browsing directories of web servers worldwide that were exposed to the internet.
The image below is a capture from one of the numerous footage stored in the detected web server directory.

A footage from a illegal hidden cameras detected by Criminal IP
The footage from an illegal hidden camera detected by Criminal IP

In this captured image, you can see a low-angle shot and towels and clothes hanging on the other side, suggesting that it may be a changing room or dressing area. Criminals are becoming increasingly bold by intentionally installing cameras in private areas such as bedrooms, closets, and bathrooms to exploit the recorded images illegally.

Knowing that you could be the subject of spy cameras can be unsettling, causing you to feel the urge to scour every corner of your house.

In a recent incident, AliExpress, a popular Chinese online shopping mall, sparked controversy by promoting miniature cameras through Instagram in South Korea. The promotional images included scenes of couples’ intimate moments and female nudity, invoking concerns about the use of hidden cameras for illegal purposes. However, the more pressing issue is trading and leaking victims’ personal information without their knowledge on adult sites and illegal private servers.

The images that AliExpress used for the promotion of miniature cameras through social media | Source : Sports Hankook
The images that AliExpress used for the promotion of miniature cameras through social media | Source : Sports Hankook
Tons of hidden camera footage uploaded on illegal adult sites
Tons of hidden camera footage uploaded on illegal adult sites

Detecting Exposed Web Server Directories Using OSINT Search Engine

Once the criminals have finished their illegal filming, they may upload the footage files onto their servers to distribute them on adult sites later.

The directory of hidden cameras we found were either web servers of adult sites operating with poor security settings or exposed web servers of criminals themselves.

How the Criminal IP search engine located the web server directory containing the illegal footage can be explained through the following process:

1. Searching for ‘Index of’ with Title filter 

The Title filter in Asset Search allows you to search the title of a web server by keyword. If you search for “title: Index of”, you will only get results for servers with “Index of” in their titles.

Since the titles of web server directories often contain an Index of string, this filter search can be used to search for exposed directory servers around the world.

Search Query : title: Index of

Search results when 'Index of' keyword is included
Search results when ‘Index of’ keyword is included

As a result of searching with the keyword and filter, 530,000 web servers worldwide with the keyword ‘Index of’ in the title were found.

2. Selecting a country as “China” with the Country filter

The Country filter allows you to narrow your search by country. We added the “country: CN” filter to search for exposed directories in China.

Search Query: title: Index of country: CN

Search results with the keyword "Index of" and the country selected as China
Search results with the keyword “Index of” and the country selected as China

When we added the Country filter with China, we found 20,000 Chinese web servers.

3. Adding the keyword “Record data”

You can further narrow your search by adding keywords of the product, version, etc. that you’re looking for.  You ended up finding this Chinese hidden camera footage by adding the keyword “Record data.”

Search Query : “record data” title:Index of country:CN

Search result when selecting China as Country and containing the keyword 'Record data' in 'Index of'
Search result when selecting China as Country and containing the keyword ‘Record data’ in ‘Index of’

The search results corresponding to the three filters and keywords allowed us to find the web server for hidden cameras. If you connect to the IP address, you will be directed to a server directory that is believed to be owned by the criminals or the distributors.

You will discover an extensive list of MP4 videos arranged by date and time in the ‘Record data’ folder.

The exposed web server directory
The exposed web server directory

Prevention Tips for Crimes Related to Illegal Hidden Cameras

Criminal IP Blog reported that more than 400,000 IP camera servers are currently exposed to the internet, with the majority of Chinese cameras being vulnerable.

If you need to buy an IP camera out of necessity, it is crucial to ensure that it has no security vulnerabilities.

Search Query : image:webcam

The exposed webcam footage found in Criminal IP Image Search
The exposed webcam footage found in Criminal IP Image Search

Unfortunately, in the case of the hidden camera we found, there are very few ways to prevent it by ourselves. Once a hidden camera has been filmed, it is only a matter of time before the footage circulates on the internet.

While anti-privacy films and detectors can be useful tools to prevent being filmed by hidden cameras, the most effective way to combat these cybercrimes is through the use of OSINT information in investigations. Rather than solely focusing on prevention at an individual level, utilizing IP address-based OSINT search engines can help track down distributors and filmmakers of illegal footage by providing information on exposed server IP addresses.

Please refer to our article on Cause of the Gangnam Plastic Surgery CCTV Leak for a relevant case study.

Data Source: Criminal IP (

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