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Family left shaken after hacker hijacks baby monitor

A horrified Cincinnati couple awoke to hear a man screaming at their baby through their baby monitor.
A horrified Cincinnati couple awoke to hear a man screaming at their baby through their baby monitor.
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A Cincinnati couple who awoke to the sound of a man's voice coming from their baby's room were horrified to discover that an online intruder had hacked their baby monitor.

Heather and Adam Schreck went to check on 10-month-old daughter Emma late at night after hearing strange noises coming from her room.

First checking Heather's cellphone, which streams the camera feed from the monitor above the baby's crib, they noticed the camera moving around the room erratically.

"About the time I saw it moving, I also heard a voice again start screaming at my daughter," Heather told Fox 19.

"He was screaming, 'Wake up baby. Wake up baby'. Then just screaming at her trying to wake her up."

Adam ran into Emma's room and saw the camera, which had been pointed toward his terrified daughter, turn to look directly at him.

"Then it screamed at me," Adam said. "Some bad things, some obscenities. So I unplugged the camera."

The couple realized that someone had hacked their Foscam IP Camera and had been watching their daughter sleep.

There was no way to know how many times their monitor had been hacked or who was responsible.

"You do kind of feel violated in a way," Adam told the station.

Although similar scenarios are commonplace with computer and laptop webcams, IT experts warn that any wireless IP cameras can be used to access valuable personal information in a user's home.

"Any kind of Internet-connected device essentially could be subjected to this," Dave Hatter, a solutions expert for Infinity Partners, told Fox 19.

"It's not just that they want to get in and mess with your camera. More sophisticated hackers know they can use this as a launching off point to get into your network and potentially steal your ID or use your network to launch malicious attacks against someone else."

To prevent similar incidents, Hatter advises that wireless IP camera users do the following:

  • Change the password on your Wi-Fi and on the camera itself and ensure that the two passwords are different
  • Check the manufacturer's website regularly for updates you can download - available updates may not show up directly on the device, as they do on a computer or cellphone