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Hackers tapping into Ring surveillance cameras: why these products are easy targets

Posted at 9:43 PM, Dec 11, 2019

Ring surveillance camera owners should be on alert for hackers tapping into their devices.

Reports across the country show strangers are not only watching people inside their homes but also talking through the camera.

A Ring spokesperson said they haven't experienced an internal breach. A local security expert believes hackers are using the dark web to track down personal information including usernames and passwords.

Most Ring camera owners like Mike Jones of Whitefish Bay purchased the devices to deter criminals or to at least have video evidence so police can catch them.

"I know people are trying to take packages from the doors especially with the holiday season," Jones said.

Within the past few days, several reports show the extra piece of security may not be as safe as it seems. A Florida couple realized they weren't just being watched when they heard a strange voice coming from their Ring.

"Can you bring like a web browser up on your phone?" the hacker said.

In Mississippi, a hacker creeped out an 8-year-old girl in her bedroom.

"I'm your best friend. I'm Santa Claus," the hacker told the girl.

In Georgia, yet another mysterious voice terrified a homeowner.

"I can see you in bed! Come on, wake the (expletive) up," the hacker said.

Ring said their security was not breached, adding that hackers "often re-use credentials stolen or leaked from one service on other services"

Alex Holden is a cybersecurity expert in Mequon. He said past data breaches exposed peoples' usernames and passwords for hackers to find on the dark web.

"There are billions of passwords out there on the dark web where the bad guys are trading those and there's tools available on the dark web already to guess passwords in huge numbers against," Holden said.

Ring suggests customers enhance their security by setting up two-factor authentication which disallows strangers from using your account without permission.

Holden says Ring owners should also frequently change their passwords and should not use the same password for multiple accounts.

"Check if you're using a unique and complex password, if you don't, change it to something unique and complex," Holden said.