TECH

Hacked Baby Monitor: Security Experts Warn 'Change Your Password' After Cameras Compromised

28/04/2014 15:54 BST | Updated 28/04/2014 15:59 BST

Security experts have warned parents to change the default password on their baby monitor cameras after new reports of hackers accessing the cameras.

The internet erupted on Sunday after the Mail reported the case of Heather and Adam Schreck from Ohio, who said their wireless baby camera was hacked.

The Schrecks said they woke to the sound of a man screaming "wake up baby" after he had been remotely watching their child asleep in her cot.

The couple said their Foscam IP camera - designed to keep tabs on their baby in case of emergency - had been accessed.

"About the time I saw it moving, I also heard a voice again start screaming at my daughter," Heather told Fox 19.

"He was screaming, ''Wake up baby. Wake up baby''. Then just screaming at her trying to wake her up."

Now security experts have responded, and the advice is familiar - if no less important.

Change your password.

David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said that the potential dangers of such equipment shouldn't have to outweigh the benefits if parents are sensible.

"I think some of the potential dangers of connected devices in the home are clear from the coverage we’ve seen so far. If someone is able to access the monitor, they can take control over it and maybe interact with a child (if the device is being used as a baby monitor), or use the camera to spy on the person who owns it – i.e. listen to conversations, see who comes in and out of a room where the camera is installed, etc."

He offered three key points of advice:

  • Make sure you change the default password, to stop someone accessing the device.
  • Make sure you install any updates to the software installed on the device.
  • Make sure that your Internet router or modem is secure (i.e. change the default password and install updates), since this is how the device will connect to the Internet.

He added:

"If you’re a parent looking for a baby monitor, consider using a non-Internet-connected device, like the older ‘walkie-talkie’ baby monitors. Or switch off the functionality that allows someone to communicate into your child’s room (so that the device can monitor them, but doesn’t allow you, or more importantly, anyone else, to speak to them)"