Baby monitors are a major help to parents, but they can be hacked. PHOTO: Binatone Global, CC License
Baby monitors are ubiquitous in homes with little ones: they are essentially just cameras that allow parents to keep an eye on their infants from their separate bedrooms at night. However, because the monitor broadcasts a signal, they can be hacked, and a creepy pedophile, did just that to an unsuspecting family in Houston.
Marc Gilbert and his wife heard a voice saying sexual things to their two year-old Allyson. They approached her room, as the creeps words got worse.
“He said, ‘Wake up Allyson, you little ****.’”
The creep probably read Allyson’s name off of writing on her bedroom wall. Gilbert suspects that he hacked their internet router, and then the camera on the baby monitor.
"I see the camera move on us," Gilbert said.
He pulled the plug immediately, and he has sworn to find the source of the electronic invasion and make sure that this is a one-time incident.
"As a father, I'm supposed to protect her against people like this. So it's a little embarrassing to say the least but it's not going to happen again," Gilbert said.
Allyson was born deaf, and at the time of the incident, she was not wearing her cochlear implants, so she never knew that her privacy had been invaded.
As more and more objects in our lives become digital and attach to networks, the convenience comes with a security risk. Just as we once learned to protect our computers from viruses, we may have to relearn that lesson for baby monitors, home heating and cooling systems and even our coffee makers.
UPDATE: Forbes believes that the baby monitor used by Gilbert was a Foscam, which advertises its wireless connectivity and smartphone compatibility. Gilbert had installed a password as well as a firewall, which the hacker apparently was able to deal with. The feature of Foscam to allow baby monitoring from anywhere in the world seems to have provided an in for the hacker.