If You’re Using One Of These 9 Baby Monitors, A Hacker Might Be Using It, Too
A cybersecurity firm just tested 9 popular internet-connected baby monitors for their vulnerability to hacking and the results are … bad. The cameras — a Phillips In.Sight B120, iBaby and iBaby M3S, Summer Infant’s Summer Baby Zoom WiFi Monitor & Internet Viewing System, Lens Peek-a-View, Gynoii, TRENDnet WiFi Baby Cam TV-IP743SIC, WiFiBaby WFB2015 and Withings WBP01 — were graded on a report card scale of “A” to “F” and 8 of them failed. The ninth received a D-minus, which the firm helpfully pointed out was “not an appreciable difference.”
The cameras, all of which work by connecting to a home Wi-Fi network to send streaming video to computers or mobile devices, are riddled with vulnerabilities. For example, some rely on unchangeable passwords that can be found in online manuals. Others didn’t bother to encrypt data streams at all, In every case, the security weak spots don’t just allow hackers to spy on your kid (and you) without you ever knowing — they can conceivably gain access to other devices on your home network. Like your computer. Where you have an open browser tab that’s logged into your bank account.
Unfortunately, price was no object. The monitors range from $55 to $260, and all the higher priced models provided was more features that created more vulnerabilities. The manufacturers who responded to the report claimed to be actively working on fixes; in the meantime, if you’re using one of these products (or, really, any Wi-Fi-enabled monitor), experts suggest unplugging it when it’s not in use and making sure all the software is up to date. Or, you know, just frequently putting your ear to the nursery door and listening really really carefully.