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April 9, 2019

Airbnb guest uses network sniffer to find hidden webcam, Airbnb finds no wrongdoing

Wow! How crazy is this? I’ve spent hundreds of nights in hotels and Airbnb’s and I’m not comfortable with this…

Airbnb has a hidden camera problem: Airbnb hosts keep getting caught using hidden webcams to spy on people staying in their unlicensed hotel-rooms, and while the company proclaims a zero tolerance policy for the practice, the reality is that the company tacitly tolerates Airbnb hosts who engage in this creepy, voyeuristic behavior. Andrew Barker is a Kiwi infosec professional who checked into an Airbnb in Ireland and used an Android app to scan the house wifi; he discovered an unencrypted webcam stream on port 80, and used the video feed to find the hidden camera in the house’s living room. That’s when things went from bad to worse. After the Barker family relocated to a hotel, they first notified their host (who initially hung up on him and then protested that there was only one hidden camera in the house), then they notified Airbnb of their finding, whose reps “treat[ed] it like a canceled booking.” Then, after a week-long “investigation,” Airbnb told the family that “the host had been ‘exonerated,’ and the listing reinstated.” The Barkers went public with their frustrations at not having been contacted for the investigation or given any explanation for Airbnb’s decision, and with the listing being reinstated with no mention of the hidden camera. Airbnb guest uses network sniffer to find hidden webcam, Airbnb finds no wrongdoing

thumbnail courtesy of boingboing.net

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