BY: Don McClatchie

When you discover IP camera tampering in a CCTV security system it normally occurs at the most vulnerable and exposed part of the system, the IP video camera. Normally the camera is mounted outside of the security of locked rooms and under the eye of the public. There are many ways to disable an IP video camera and render it useless.

For instance:

You can cut the cable carrying the video or power.

You can stick a pin through the video cable and short out the picture.

You can cover the front of the camera with a hat or a paper bag.

You can shoot the camera with a paint ball gun or any gun.

Most tampering employs one or more of these methods to disable the camera, and if the tampering goes un-noticed for any length of time the criminal will get away with the crime and there will be no video record of the deed.

One of the most common examples of tampering occurs at the loading dock where products are stacked up before or after a delivery. The criminal will block or disable the IP camera and then load the products onto a truck at the dock then just drive away. If you had been alerted to the loss of the IP camera video in real time you could have respond quickly to prevent the criminal from making off with the goods. It is a good idea to sell your customer on video loss detection before a loss occurs.

There is a device specifically designed to detect the loss of an IP video camera due to tampering, it is referred to as the IP Video Camera Guard “IPG-4”. The IPG-4 will identify tampering or failure of Data from IP cameras when it occurs, reducing the liability associated with extended and undetected loss of area security when cameras are rendered in-operative. The IPG-4 increases the level of security by providing an alarm contact output to protect the integrity of the Data system.

The IPG-4 Camera Guard can be connected anywhere between the IP camera and the digital monitor equipment in the data path. You can connect it near the IP camera to activate a local alarm, or at the monitor location to alert guard personal or shut down equipment. It provides a “Loop- through Input” that will not affect the picture quality or the data level. The unit detects a loss Data level that indicates the power to the IP camera is off, the cable is “disconnected”, or the Wireless Transmission system/Fiber optic system has lost its data signal.

Use this unit in any IP installation that requires guaranteed continuous data monitoring. Use the IPG-4 to monitor the IP cameras in sensitive areas like loading docks or any area subject to the unauthorized movement of product or stock. Or use it to determine if you have an intermittent failure problem in any IP data system.

The IPG-4 IP Camera Guard system supervises the continuity of four separate data signals from IP cameras. This supervisory system will identify loss of any data signal due to removal of the camera, loss of power to the camera, a camera cable disconnect, or a defective camera. The IPG-4 supervisory system continuously displays the “DATA ON” condition of 4 IP cameras, with individual L.E.D. indicators for each data channel. Use it to monitor IP video cameras and shut down un-attended gas pumps if the video camera is tampered with.

Normally Open or Normally Closed Alarm contacts are provided for each channel to send an alarm or activate equipment when loss of video occurs. These contacts are field programmable for Normally Open or Normally Closed contact operation.

This unit can be connected to a local alarm to alert monitor personnel that an IP camera is being tampered with or send a message to a remote site by connecting the alarm output to external dialing equipment. It can be used to shut down equipment such as gas pumps when the data fails. The IPG-4 has an easy mounting flange that will mount to any surface with just two screws and is supplied with a 24 VDC power cube.


The unit can also be used to protect and alarm any IP equipment placed into public areas where theft of equipment is a concern. This product can be purchased from FM SYSTEMS, INC. 800-235-6960.