December 13, 2019
Family says Ring camera in 8-year-old daughter's room accessed by hacker
A family in Mississippi claims a hacker gained access to a Ring camera placed in their 8-year-old daughter's room and started talking to her, say local reports.
A video obtained by NBC affiliate WMC shows a view of the child's room while mysterious music starts playing from the Ring. A voice can also be heard saying "Hello there."
During one clip, the voice is heard saying, "I'm your best friend. I'm Santa Claus."
Another clip shows the voice encouraging the child to destroy her room. "You can do whatever you want right now," said the voice. "You can mess up your room. You can break your TV."
Ashley LeMay and her husband then decided to disable the Ring camera.
"I did the exact opposite of adding another security measure," LeMay told The Washington Post. "I put them at risk, and there's nothing I can do to really ease their mind."
LeMay told WMC she bought the Ring camera during Black Friday at the advice of another mother. Four days after installing it, her daughter was confronted by the mysterious voice.
"I can't even put into words how violated I feel," LeMay said in an interview with Good Morning America.
In a statement obtained by U.S. TODAY, Ring said the incident was not related to a breach or compromise of its security.
"Due to the fact that customers often use the same username and password for their various accounts and subscriptions, bad actors often re-use credentials stolen or leaked from one service on other services," said Ring's statement. "As a precaution, we highly and openly encourage all Ring users to enable two-factor authentication on their Ring account, add Shared Users (instead of sharing login credentials), use strong passwords and regularly change their passwords."
LeMay told the Post she was frustrated with responses from Ring, saying the company repeatedly discussed how she did not enable additional security measures.
"To be honest, it felt like they were trying to place the blame on me," LeMay told the Post. "As a mother, I already feel guilty enough that I let this happen to my family. ... There's just no need for that."
This is not the first incident where users of security cameras like Ring or Nest have experienced mysterious voices or sounds. Earlier this year, a California family said they heard an emergency warning from their Nest camera about three missiles from North Korea preparing to strike the U.S.
Google, the parent company of Nest, said the incident happened because of a compromised password, not a direct hack of their system. Like Ring, Nest advises users to use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication.
(c)2019 U.S. Today
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