It's enough to give any parent the willies. A Texan couple's nightmares came true when their wireless baby monitor was hacked recently. The intruder, who was able to see remotely into the sleeping child's room, went on to curse at her.
Disturbingly, this isn't the first incident of so-called monitor hacking. (An Illinois man sued the manufacturer upon discovered that his neighbour was able to spy on his child's room, including his wife breastfeeding.)
"I'm afraid the truth of the matter is some baby monitoring devices have not been built with security in mind, and instead have focused on convenience for the parents," admitted security consultant Graham Cluley.
According to an article in Today Moms, some monitors don't require passwords for remote access, leaving the devices vulnerable to hacking as Marc and Lauren Gilbert discovered.
Although the couple was at home, unbeknownst to them their two-year-old daughter was visible as she slept in her bed, the camera poised to display her name on the wall...
"He said, 'Wake up, Allyson, you little (expletive),'" recalled dad Marc. The 'intruder' went on to call Marc a "stupid moron" and his wife, "a b****."
Fortunately Allyson's cochlear implants were not switched on at the time, so she did not hear the message. Nonetheless, her parents were shaken enough to alerting parents and wireless monitor manufacturers to the need for improved security.
Since such devices can broadcast over Wi-Fi to computers, TVs, even smartphones, parents can keep a watchful eye on children—but so can anyone else. Techies insist that parents who purchase such equipment change the default password immediately.
Do you own one of these monitors? Does the convenience outweigh the security risks? Is some spyware worth investing in?