A U.S. security expert says he has identified ways to remotely attack high-end surveillance cameras used by industrial plants, prisons, banks and the military – a vulnerability that could allow hackers to spy on facilities or gain access to sensitive computer networks.

According to an article from Reuters, Craig Heffner, a former software developer with the National Security Administration (now working for a private security firm), says he discovered the previously unreported bugs in digital surveillance equipment from firms such as Cisco Systems Inc., D-Link Corp and TRENDnet.

He plans to demonstrate techniques for exploiting these bugs at the Black Hat hacking conference, which starts July 31 in Las Vegas.

Heffner says he has discovered hundreds of thousands of surveillance cameras that can be accessed through the public Internet.

Cisco, D-Link and TRENDnet say they will take any appropriate action to secure their equipment following the Black Hat presentation.