Hackers are gaining control of Ring cameras and frightening children

Some parents hopeful of keeping a watchful eye on their children are instead dealing with an invasion of privacy that has shattered their sense of security.
Published: Dec. 12, 2019 at 10:28 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Multiple families across the country who have Ring cameras inside their homes have been victimized by hackers who are taking control of the security cameras to induce panic.

The cameras allow for two-way conversation, and hackers have found a relatively simple way, for them, to gain control and scare children.

To say the least it has been unsettling for parents who have heard their children screaming with fright as the hackers start speaking with them.

Paul Sems, of Trusted Sec, an information security consulting firm based in Strongsville, says that hackers are using software coupled with information gained through previous security breaches to find usernames and passwords for the Ring cameras.

“They’re able to use the software and do a technique called password spraying when they can try millions if not hundreds of millions of passwords against a system to see if they can get in,” Sems said.

In one instance in Mississippi, a hacker tried to start a conversation with an 8-year-old child by telling her he was Santa Claus.

The child paused for a second before she started screaming for her Mom, luckily the child’s father was at home and was able to get to the girl’s bedroom before it went much further.

Sems says most of us are guilty of using the same name and password for multiple accounts and that makes it easy for hackers to use the software program to match an e-mail with a username and a password, and hacking into the app.

First, Sems suggests, make sure you use a different password for every account and then he advises that you use the two factor authentication that Ring offers with most of their security cameras.

“Enable multi-factor authentication, you have it with your bank, when you log in they send you a text message or they pop up a secure app on your phone that asks if it is you that is logging in,” he said.

Sems says using the multi factor authentication significantly elevates your security.

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