CINCINNATI (CNN) – An Ohio couple say they feel violated after discovering their baby monitor camera was hacked by a stranger. Amy Wagner explains how someone entered their home without even going inside.
“Sound asleep about midnight, all of a sudden, I heard – sounded like a man’s voice, but I was so asleep I wasn’t sure,” Heather Schreck said.
Disoriented and confused, Schreck picked up her cellphone to check the camera in her 10-month-old daughter Emma’s room. She could see the camera moving, which didn’t make sense because she wasn’t moving it.
“About the time I saw it moving, and I also heard a voice again start screaming at my daughter,” Schreck said. ”He was screaming, ‘Wake up baby. Wake up baby,’ and then just a long ‘aaaaahhhh’ screaming at her, I guess trying to wake her up.”
That’s when Heather’s husband, Adam, ran into Emma’s room. He describes how the camera then turned from his petrified daughter to point directly at him.
“And then it screamed at me,” Adam Schreck said.
“What did it say?” a reporter asked.
“Just some bad things, some obscenities. So I went and I unplugged the camera.”
But the Schrecks were only beginning to plug into the truth of what had just happened.
“Realizing someone had hacked in from outside,” Heather Schreck said.
And wondering how many other times had someone may have hacked into their camera and watched their baby and anybody else who walked by this camera.
“You kind of do feel violated in a way,” Adam Schreck said.
According to tech experts, wireless IP cameras like the one the Schrecks have are an easy way for hackers to open a cyber door directly into your home.
“Any kind of Internet-connected device potentially could be subjected to this,” said Dave Hatter of Infinity Partners.
And once they get inside the camera in your home, hackers may also be able to get inside your lives.
“It’s not just that they want to get in and mess with your camera,” Hatter said. “More sophisticated hackers know they can use this as a launching-off point to get into your network and potentially steal your identity or use your network to launch malicious attacks against something else.”
His advice: change the password on your Wi-Fi as well as the camera itself, and make them different. And check the manufacturer’s website regularly for updates you can download.
Simple security steps the Schreck family will now be taking after an intruder walked directly into their home through this camera.
“I was just absolutely shocked to see somebody could get into my house that easily,” Heather Schreck said.