Man Hacks Into Houston Couple's Baby Monitor And Threatens To Kidnap Their Son
18 Feb 2019
TEXAS: A Houston-area couple was frightened Monday night when someone hacked into a camera they use to monitor their infant son and threatened to kidnap him.
Nathan and Ellen Rigney were asleep just before midnight when they heard noises from the room. When they turned on their bedroom light, a Nest camera in their room turned on and a man's voice told them to turn the light off, KPRC-TV reported.
"Then [he] said 'I'm going to kidnap your baby. I'm in your baby's room,'" Ellen Rigney told the station.
The couple realized the man wasn't actually in the child's room but had hacked into the camera, which uses Wi-Fi and has a built-in speaker and microphone.
The Rigneys shut off their Wi-Fi and switched to a camera that doesn't use it, KPRC reported.
They were just the latest victims of baby-monitor hacking. In 2013, a man yelled profane comments at a Houston couple's toddler through her baby monitor, ABC News reported.
Experts warn that Wi-Fi monitors often have vulnerabilities that leave them open to hacking. Some hackers look for devices in which the factory username and password are still in use, NPR reported.
In a statement to NBC News, Nest said there have been "instances where Nest customers have reused passwords that were previously exposed through breaches on other websites and made public," but the company said it wasn't involved in any of those breaches. Customers should use a two-factor authentication for their cameras as added security, the company added.
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