Why is this camera reporting to China?

#22

Nobody has yet identified an actual problem here - you seem to be asking for someone to stand up and prove that data isn’t being sent to China, but nobody has given any evidence that it is - so what are we talking about here? This seems to be a simple case that the original poster does not understand the concept of MAC addresses reflecting a specific manufacturer, which may or may not include the country the manufacturer resides in. That has no bearing whatsoever on where the traffic goes, that’s entirely up to the software running on the camera. You seem to be asking someone to address a problem that’s not been identified.

#23

There’s nothing that needs to be addressed here. The original poster just doesn’t understand the concept of a MAC address. That information was covered and explained. Absent anyone presenting information indicating traffic is going to China, no further response should be required. There is no indication of that in any way. Asking people to explain how to do network tracing to validate a misguided suspicion based on lack of understanding of technology isn’t something that belongs here.

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#24

I have also recently started seeing a new device from Nova Electronics Shanghai on my network. I tracked it down to being related to the Wyze Cam as well.

I’ve had a Wyze cam for many months but this “device” is new.

#25

I’m not seeing other threads on this, can you post a link?

#26

That could be the hardware address change bug. Manufacturers are identified by their hardware address. So if it changes, the manufacturer will appear to change. If you can identify the cam that has this new address and then see if that address matches the bottom plate on the mount, then should be able to see if this is what happened.

One of my cams changed the address. Not a concern to me, so I haven’t tried to get it to resort back.

#27

This is the most recent one I noticed. Please continue the China-connection discussion there. Feel free to continue the manufacturer name hardware address discussion here.

#28

I think we (myself definitely included) are way over thinking and over worried about where these things report to… as I’m typing this out on my phone I’m thinking of how my phone listens to me and my conversations (proven multiple times already) all day, every day. For that matter it tracks my every move as well… who knows maybe it’s watching me watch it’s screen too!! Just food for thought…

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#29

Just to clarify a little bit…

No one thinks that Wyze is fabricating the wifi chips on US soil, everyone knows that WyzeCams are a product made in china, using a few common parts.

As far as i can track, all the hardware is provided by Xiaomi or the same integrator that makes the Xiaomi Mijia Dafang / Xiaofang.

And this means that the wifi module is a shelf part. One part of the cost of any radio enabled product is all the testing made from FCC. Using standard modules that are already tested and validated can accelerate and lower this cost for everyone. It is standard practice to use pre validated modules for wifi.

That being said, every product need to have a valid and unique MAC address, allowing routing and switching without analyzing every package.

So, Wizecams use the wifi module from Nova Electronics Shanghai.

During the boot, these modules have a pre-written MAC address from Nova Electronics Shanghai. This is the C8028F MACs that you are looking. The firmware takes over and then change to the WYZE MAC (4ADA22).

The bug that you encountered is that the firmware didn’t took over and changed the MAC. One (or two) hard reboot (remove the cable for one minute) should resolve this.

Doing this way, the same camera can it be sold as Xiaomi, Wizecam, NEOS Cam, or any other name, and the only real difference will it be on the firmware/software side. Integrators can use the same suppliers, the same assembly lines, the same raw materials, thus lowering the price for everyone (economy of scale)

The camera CAN it be reporting to China. BUT the mac address here is not the evidence about this.

Living on a connected world can have a lot of this confusions. sometimes it is cheaper to put your servers on China, India, etc… and this can mean that your camera will have to connect to a server there. This not necessarily mean that your data (mainly your video) is going to the Chinese government. it can be a heartbeat, a login credential, a firmware server…

All that being said, it is good to see that many users are concerned about your own privacy.

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#30

Well spoken, it is a complex process… networking makes my head hurt daily and causes me lost sleep at night… part of my daily job unfortunately so it’s a necessary evil of our modern, connected world.

Speak English Tech Genius!
#31

China, Schmina. I consider it so unlikely that anyone in China cares how I’ dressed (or not) that the problem fades from my view.

If the Chinese (as a group) want to know what I’m doing then they lead a very sad and boring existence.

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#32

This is what I am experiencing. But I’d note that the nova MAC suddenly appeared after my camera has been connected for nearly a year. I know this because my network automatically blocked it when it suddenly appeared the other day since it was an unknown device.

After a few boots, the Nova address has stopped trying to join my network. Camera was working fine the whole time despite the Nova address being blocked.

#33

You can run Wireshark on your network and see every packet and it’s origin/destination if you’re concerned or to dumb it down into plug and pay use Firewalla and you’ll see every device that’s attached to your network and what it’s doing (and you can control what it can and can’t do) My CCTV cameras from 2 different Chinese manufacturers tried to call home as soon as I attached them to my network - always to Chinese ip’s and across multiple ports - Firewalla is configured to block that and control what every device on the network can do. So monitoring 4 Wyze cams for months, I can honestly say I’ve never seen them try and connect to China. AWS’s infrastructure mostly in the US but occasionally Canada. Either id’d As “Wyze or ieee registration…”

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#34

While I don’t think this is going on in this case, the issue people have with devices “reporting to China” is that many iOT devices have been compromised by Chinese companies/people in the past so that they can be used to attack other computers and servers. More info on that can be found HERE

#35

Just noticed one of my cams had a Nova MAC when it usually doesn’t. Hard reboot got it back to its regular Wyze MAC.

  • Is this one of the reasons hard reboot is recommended?
  • Can this mis-ID cause connectivity problems?
  • What is the relationship between MAC address and P2P?
#36

Hey, folks!

This is the vendor MAC address of the WiFi chip resurfacing. Usually, it should be covered by the Wyze Cam MAC after it is set up. Sounds like something went a bit funky here. Could anyone running into this please fill out this form explaining the problem and let me know what support ticket numbers you receive? We’d like to look into it.

Submit a request – Wyze

#37

As many members pointed out already, having a MAC device registered under a Chinese company is different than the device is reporting to China. A device’s MAC registration is agnostic to how it communicates to the world.

Wyze cameras are manufactured in China. Most of the camera parts are purchased from China too. Nova is one of the suppliers for out manufacturer. When our camera boots up, it has an original MAC like c8028f. Wyze purchased our own MAC range which register under our company name, they start wit A4DA, 2CAA, and may be others in future. During our device boot time, our program will ‘overwrite’ the device MAC to be a uniquely assigned Wyze MAC. We have see occasional report of device showing as c8028f MAC. It is rare and not none. This is very likely to be the ‘overwrite’ failed for some reason. We are chasing the issue but it hasn’t been resolved yet. No matter what MAC the device uses your device should be functioning fine (unless you have one MAC address blocked through your network).

For the question of Wyze devices talking to oversea servers, it is a totally different topic. We have explained a few times about the history and how we addressed the issue. We have a page released at https://support.wyzecam.com/hc/en-us/articles/360027279571-ThroughTek-User-Privacy. Thanks!

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MAC Address changed?
Wyze Cam appears with different MAC address? "NovaElec"
This is not secure
Observations/Feedback requested ref MAC changing whether native or RTSP V2 Cam's & other issues
#38

Could you (or someone) put that in the FAQ under Security & Privacy please? (maybe a little wordsmithing)

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#39

Related thread:

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#40

Aren’t MAC addresses hardcoded into the device?

#41

Yes - they are hard coded on the transceiver chip. The firmware that sits on top of the stack will translate it to reflect a the product company name [Wyze]. As many others have stated, just because you see a Chinese MAC address (cause they kind of make zillions of transceiver chips and soc’s) doesn’t meet your device is trying to connect to China. I’m running a sniffer and I see every device, where it tries to connect to, which port, etc. Wyze seems to like Oregon where AWS has significant edge routing/POP capabilities. Then again, I’m running a rotating VPN so I have no idea where I’m located :man_shrugging: Maybe I’m in Oregon :scream:

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