Many homeowners are reporting horrifying details of their security cameras getting hacked
Security cameras like Ring are becoming increasingly popular additions to homes everywhere. They’re primarily used for doorbell-area security, but lots of people use them inside their homes, too. But users are beginning to speak out about the dangers of these cameras being hacked after having terrifying incidents in their homes relating to the cameras being hacked.
ABC News reports that Ashley LeMay, a mom from Mississippi, says a stranger successfully hacked into the family’s camera, a Ring video monitor, that was placed inside her daughter’s bedroom. The hacker was able to speak to the child and instructed her to destroy her bedroom. The most chilling part was he told her he was “Santa Claus.”
Only a few days after installing it, the young girl, Alyssa, heard music and a banging noise coming from the room where the camera was installed. Alyssa says that when she began looking for the source of the noise, she heard a voice saying, “I’m Santa Claus, don’t you want to be my best friend?”
Her mom says the voice taunted Alyssa and encouraged her to mess up her room and break her TV before her dad came into the room and shut the camera off. “I was even scared of my room for a few days. I’m still a little bit scared of it,” Alyssa tells Good Morning America.
Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon incident when it comes to cameras like the Ring. In Georgia, a couple who asked not to be identified told ABC News they were horrified to hear the voice of a hacker in their bedroom coming through the camera they had installed to keep an eye on their puppy.
“I see the blue light come on, and so I’m texting my boyfriend saying, you know, ‘Why are you watching? We’re laying down. We’re about to go to sleep.’ He’s like, ‘What are you talking about?'” the woman said.
Seconds later, she said she heard someone clapping and saying, “I can see you in the bed! … Come on! Wake the f— up!” She says the experience left her terrified. “I mean, I literally could not move my body.” She also reported the incident to Ring.
In another reported incident, a Ring camera hacker verbally abused a family in Florida with racist name-calling. Video from the Brown family’s camera taken shows a home alarm being triggered, followed by a voice hurling racist abuse through the camera.
“Is your kid a baboon, like the monkey?” said the hacker. The abuse continued for three minutes, until the Brown family removed the batteries from the camera.
In response to the incidents, Ring said in a statement, “Customer trust is important to us and we take the security of our devices seriously. Our security team has investigated this incident and we have no evidence of an unauthorized intrusion or compromise of Ring’s systems or network.”
The company says they’ve been made aware of incidents where users’ accounts and personal information have been obtained by hackers as well. “Unfortunately, when the same username and password is reused on multiple services, it’s possible for bad actors to gain access to many accounts.”
Ring says they’re working to stop hackers from gaining access to their cameras. “Upon learning of the incident, we took appropriate actions to promptly block bad actors from known affected Ring accounts and affected users have been contacted.”