Woman says hacker spied on her through the baby monitor

Did a “smart” device get hacked?

Woman says hacker spied on her through the baby monitor

A woman claims that she and her family were spied upon after an unknown party hacked their way into a baby monitor.

Katie McMurray and her partner Sean Johnson live in the city of Perth in western Australia. They recently celebrated the birth of their now-three-month-old daughter. To help give them some peace of mind, they decided to purchase a smart Uniden baby monitor that allows them to observe their daughter from another room using a proprietary handset device or smartphone app.

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Johnson using the couple's Uniden baby monitor. (Source: 7 News)

But on 26 September, McMurray noticed something alarming: when she went to check on her daughter, the baby monitor's camera followed her movements around the room. She told Johnson about the strange behavior. Also concerned, he took a look at the baby monitor and found red text in a foreign language displayed in the unit's camera view on his smartphone app.

Johnson took a screenshot of what he saw.

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A screenshot taken by Johnson of the couple's baby monitor. (Source: 7 News)

The couple decided to return the baby monitor after that for fear that a foreign actor had managed to get past their separate Wi-Fi and camera passwords and hack the baby monitor. McMurray said the incident made her feel "shocked" and "quite sick." Johnson told 7 News that it opened his eyes to the potential dangers of such smart products.

As quoted by Yahoo News:

"I feel like we buy these things to make sure our kids are safe, and then you don't know who is watching."

It's unclear whether the unauthorized individual exploited a software flaw built into Uniden's product or abused a weakness in the couple's Wi-Fi router to access the baby monitor.

With that said, users should carefully research IoT devices and their commitment to security before they decide to make a purchase. They should also make sure to secure their Wi-Fi networks by following these basic and more advanced steps.

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One Response

  1. Jim

    September 30, 2017 at 10:47 am #

    "users should carefully research IoT", all very well if the user is aware of that. I think substantial fines to companies that supply these products would be a way of increasing internet security!

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