How Secure is Your Baby Monitor?


Maybe there really IS a such thing as monsters hiding in babies' rooms-just ask Heather and Adam Schreck of Ohio about the strange man's voice coming from their baby's room one night, yelling, "Wake up, baby!"

The voice was coming from the baby's video monitor, a Foscam baby-monitoring camera; it had been hacked. Though the intruder was virtual, the 10-month-old baby certainly didn't know that. Nevertheless, the parents felt "violated" and out of control because they had no idea whom the hacker was or if this was the first incident.

But Emma's parents had bigger concerns: Could the hacker be using this as a stepping stone to busting into their private data such as credit card information, banking information and Social Security numbers?

The Foscam camera actually had a known vulnerability. Ironically, its makers had released an update, but the Schrecks had not been aware of this.

How can something like this be prevented?

If it happens, immediately change the passwords for the Wi-Fi and the camera, and make sure both passwords are different, not even related to each other, and are strong and long. Then check the website for the manufacturer of the device for any updates.

  • The device itself may not reveal updates, so always check with the website for the latest in software/firmware. Keeping things updated will help prevent hacking.
  • The majority of vulnerabilities have their origins at the wireless network in the home or office, rather than on the actual device. Therefore, the wireless should be encrypted with, at a minimum, the WPA standard-built right into the router's software.
  • It's also very important to encrypt wireless on free or public networks.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussingburglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

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