Hacker hijacks baby monitor - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

FOX19 Investigates: Hacker hijacks baby monitor

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Heather Schreck was asleep around midnight in her Hebron home when a voice startled her.

"All of a sudden, I heard what sounded like a man's voice but I was asleep so I wasn't sure," Heather said.

Disoriented and confused, Heather picked up her cell phone to check the camera in her 10-month-old daughter Emma's room. The camera was moving, but she wasn't moving it.

"About the time I saw it moving, I also heard a voice again start screaming at my daughter. He was screaming, ‘Wake up baby. Wake up baby.' Then just screaming at her trying to wake her up."

That's when Heather's husband, Adam, ran into Emma's room. Adam said the camera then turned from his petrified daughter to point directly at him.

"Then it screamed at me," Adam said. "Some bad things, some obscenities. So I unplugged the camera."

But the Schrecks were only beginning to plug into the truth of what had just happened.

"Someone had hacked in from outside," Heather said.

So how many other times had someone hacked into their camera and watched their baby through their Foscam IP Camera.

"You do kind of feel violated in a way," Adam said.

According to tech experts, wireless IP cameras like the one the Shrieks have are an easy way for hackers to open a cyber door directly into your home.

"Any kind of Internet-connected device essentially could be subjected to this," said Dave Hatter, a solutions expert for Infinity Partners.

And experts say once they get inside the camera in your home, hackers may also be able to get inside your lives.

"It's not just that they want to get in and mess with your camera. More sophisticated hackers know they can use this as a launching off point to get into your network and potentially steal your ID or use your network to launch malicious attacks against someone else," Hatter said.

Hatter's advice is to change the password on your Wi-Fi as well as the camera itself, and make them different. Also, check the manufacturer's website regularly for updates you can download since the available updates may not show up directly on the device, as they do on your computer or cell phone. The Foscam camera, for example, has a known firmware vulnerability and had released an update to correct the problem but the Schreck's were unaware of it.

These are some of the simple security steps the Schreck family will now be taking after an intruder walked into their home through their security camera.

"I was just absolutely shocked to see somebody could get into my house so easily," said Heather.

Related10 tips for improving your home wireless network's security

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