“Santa” is Watching Children Through Vulnerable Ring Cameras

By Bill Toulas / December 13, 2019

According to recent reports by WMC, a hacker has managed to access a Ring camera that was in the room of an eight-year-old girl, telling her he’s Santa Claus. The camera was in the room for just four days before the hacker managed to take full control of it, and the reason the parents bought it was to monitor their kid and talk to her from other rooms. At some point after spying on the child for days, the hacker decided it was time to playback "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" and tell her "I’m your best friend, I’m Santa Claus".

Thankfully, the kid freaked out immediately and the possibility of this getting any weirder was eliminated. The camera was disconnected and returned to the shop. As the parents told the press, they had not set up two-factor authentication, so they made it easier for the hacker to access the device. This case serves as an excellent reminder of the dangers that lurk in smart devices, toys, and anything that we give our children to use. Only a couple of days back, we presented a substantiated warning that came from the UK Consumers' Association, analyzing specific security and privacy risks that underpin children's toys.

A spokesperson of Amazon Ring has stated that this incident was an isolated case and that there’s nothing wrong with Ring’s security. The company recommends the activation of the two-factor authentication on their Ring accounts, as this is a very important precaution. Moreover, they suggest that instead of sharing login credentials, the users should add "Shared Users", and regularly reset their passwords. Finally, using the same passwords with other online platforms means that hackers may already have these passwords in their hands through leaks, so the account holder may fall victim to a stuffing attack.

However, a Vice story proves that there are more cases of Ring camera hacks going on in the last couple of days. Hackers are indulging in device takeover podcasts which they call "NullCasts", where they hack into Ring and Nest devices and troll their legitimate users with various funny stories. However, the case isn't always to make a comedic situation, as bitcoin ransoms were also demanded, and night frights were also involved. Fearing investigations, these actors have scrapped their platform for now, but the recent activities were enough to prove that it’s now possible to hack into a Ring device.

Do you own a Ring camera, and have you had any security incidents with it? Share the details with us in the comments down below, or on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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