We’ve been hearing about numerous security-related incidents involving hackers exploiting Ring security cameras recently. The latest and perhaps most chilling incident saw a hacker speak to an eight-year-old girl in her Memphis, Tennessee home through a Ring camera’s built-in speaker.
According to reports by Gizmodo, an eight-year-old girl named Alyssa was recently given a fright when she heard sounds coming from the Ring security camera in her bedroom.
The story was originally reported by WMC Action News, who interviewed Ashley LeMay and her daughter after receiving footage of the bizarre incident.
Ashley bought the Ring camera in the Black Friday sales after it was recommended by another mum.
She wanted a way to keep a watchful eye on her three daughters when at work. As a nurse working night shifts, she would often be out of the house for long periods of time, and the Ring camera’s built in speaker offered Ashley a means of contacting her daughters remotely.
But four days after the camera was installed in Alyssa’s room, she reported hearing music. The song Alyssa heard was ‘Tiptoe Through the Tulips’ by Tiny Tim, which just so happens to be featured in the horror film ‘Insidious’.
After Alyssa’s parents replayed the footage of the incident, they realised the music was coming from the security camera’s built-in speaker.
But the chilling incident didn’t end there. To Alyssa’s parents’ horror, a man’s voice could also clearly be heard saying he was Santa Claus and instructing Alyssa to engage in ‘destructive behaviour’.
“I watched the video and I mean my heart just like… I didn’t even get to the end,” Alyssa told WMC. “They could have watched them sleeping, changing. I mean they could have seen all kinds of things.”
You can watch ABC News’ report on the incident below.
Ring’s security flaws
The incident at the LeMays’ house is by no means the only incident involving Ring security cameras recently.
Last week, another family were the victims of an unwanted intrusion involving a Ring security camera when their 15-year-old son had racial insults thrown at him by a hacker speaking through the camera.
According to reports by ArsTechnica, most of these incidents appear to link back to a Discord stream where pranksters exploit non-secure Ring accounts for entertainment.
The stream, called the NullCast, offers its listeners entertainment as it trolls unknowing victims.
“Join us as we go on completely random tangents such as; Ring & Nest Trolling, telling shelter owners we killed a kitten, Nulled drama, and more ridiculous topics. Be sure to join our Discord to watch the shows live,” reads a post advertising the NullCast on the Nulled forum.
Ring, which is owned by Amazon, has responded to the incidents, assuring its customers that they are not the result of security flaws in the Ring cameras themselves.
Instead, it says that the hackers are gaining access to the cameras through stolen security credentials.
Because people often reuse passwords and logins, hackers are able to gain access to Ring cameras using user credentials which have previously been stolen from other sites and are readily available online.
By turning on two-factor authentication, users can protect against hacks like this.