Parents in the US were shocked to discover than their internet-connected baby monitor was hacked by a man who started screaming at their child.
Adam and Heather Schreck from Cincinnati, Ohio rushed upstairs when they thought they heard a man’s voice coming from daughter Emma’s bedroom. When they entered the room, they saw the camera moving even though they were not controlling it.
It’s thought that the default password of the Foscam device, which allows parents to monitor sleeping babies via a mobile app, had not been changed. This allowed the hacker to easily access and control the device.
Heather Schreck told US TV Channel Fox 19: “All of a sudden, I heard what sounded like a man’s voice but I was asleep so I wasn’t sure. About the time I saw it moving, I also heard a voice again start screaming at my daughter. He was screaming, ‘Wake up baby. Wake up baby.’ Then just screaming at her trying to wake her up.”
Decling to change the default password of a device – normally set to ‘admin’ or ‘password’ – leaves your home network and devices on it, easy prey for hackers.
Last month a researcher discovered an exploit which could see Virgin Media customers who had not changed the admin password on their Super Hub 2 routers compromised.
Similarly, a loophole affecting EE’s BrightBox routers was also discovered, leaving customers who had not picked a strong admin password vulnerable.
When picking a password, make sure to go for a strong, unlikely combination of letters and numbers – read our guide to broadband security and passwords for more information.
Alarmingly, this is not the first time a Focsam baby monitor has been hacked. In August 2013, a couple in Houston, Texas found that a webcam had been hacked by a man who was screaming at swearing at their sleeping child. It is not known if the two cases are connected.