While a nanny cam may seem like an important safety feature of any new baby’s nursery, allowing parents to keep an eye on the little one 24/7 if necessary while still going about their daily business, one Minnesota family made a disturbing discovery recently. They found their nanny cam was keeping an eye on them.
More precisely, someone overseas was watching. The internet-connected baby monitor, also known as a nanny cam, was hacked from somewhere in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Not only was some creep on the other end watching, whoever it was posted “thousands” of pictures from inside homes on a “spy cam” website.
As the couple, who asked not to be identified when they spoke to TV station KTTC, researched what was going on, they found that they were far from the lone victims of nanny cam spying.
In fact, the Minnesota couple was at least the third in the United States to go public with a story of nanny cam hacking in the past couple of years. In 2013, a couple in Houston reported that a hacker was speaking obscene phrases to their child through the speaker in what turned out to be a hacked nanny cam.
In January of this year, a real-life nanny left the house where she was caring for a child, shaking in fear when a disembodied man’s voice spoke to her through a baby monitor in the home.
In the case of the Minnesota couple, there were no obscenities or voices — but they were tipped off by creepy music playing through the camera.
“We were sleeping in bed, and basically heard some music coming from the nursery, but then when we went into the room the music turned off,” the mom told the TV station.
As if that wasn’t creepy enough, they then turned the camera to face the wall. But a few hours later, the camera had turned again to face back into the baby’s room, toward the closet.
The overseas weirdos had figured out not only how to capture images from the nanny cam, but how to seize control of the camera’s movements.
The couple did some internet sleuthing, tracking down the IP address of the hacker through the “log file” in the software — by nanny cam maker Foscam — that records every login to the camera.
Eventually, the digital trail led them to a website, where they found “thousands and thousands” of images taken by nanny cams in the homes of unsuspecting families the world over.
“At least fifteen different countries listed and it’s not just nurseries,” the mom said. “It’s people’s living rooms, their bedrooms, their kitchens. Every place that people think is sacred and private in their home is being accessed.”
Security experts say that parents who use a nanny cam should change the camera’s network password and even the username frequently. They should also keep a close on the IP logs, looking for any unfamiliar addresses. Additionally, be sure that the baby monitor is connected only to an encrypted network
But the only way to ensure total security is to disconnect the nanny cam completely. That’s what the Minnesota couple did, instead keeping watch on their baby with their own eyeballs.
[Image: KTTC Screen Grab]