Creepy find in girl’s bedroom
Chilling footage has emerged of a hacker taunting an eight-year-old girl through the smart security camera in her bedroom.
The Ring camera was up for only four days in the girls' room before the Tennessee family says someone found a way to hijack it.
Mum Ashley LeMay shared the video after reporting the hair-raising incident to the police, reports NBC.
In it, a cyber crook speaks to daughter Alyssa through the gadget. He claims to be Santa Claus and encourages her to smash her TV.
Ashley bought the camera in a Black Friday sale to allow her to keep an eye on her three daughters at their home.
"[Hackers] could have watched them sleeping, changing," Ashley told NBC.
"I mean they could have seen all kinds of things."
Ring, which is owned by Amazon, makes a range of smart home devices.
Its security cameras can be connected to remotely via a smartphone app. The gizmos even have speakers, meaning you can talk through them.
Being internet-connected means it's possible for criminals to remotely take over a Ring device if they hack into it or have access to your username and password.
As well as taunting Alyssa, the mystery hacker played music through the bedroom camera and asked her if she was his best friend.
A terrified Alyssa called for help and her father came in and switched the camera off. It now sits disconnected on a counter and the family plan to return it.
"I watched the video and I mean my heart just like … I didn't even get to the end where she is screaming 'mommy, mommy' before I like ran inside," Ashley said.
The shaken mum said she believed the attack was carried out by someone who knows the family or is close by.
Ashley did plenty of research before buying the device, and thought it was safe from snoopers.
However, she admitted she did not set up two-factor authentication, which would have added another layer of protection against cyber criminals.
The family has now added other protection measures to their home Wi-Fi, such as changing the settings so it's not visible to others.
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In a statement, Ring told The Sun it was investigating the incident, which it claims was not the result of a breach of security.
"Due to the fact that customers often use the same username and password for their various accounts and subscriptions, bad actors often re-use credentials stolen or leaked from one service on other services," a spokesperson said.
"As a precaution, we highly and openly encourage all Ring users to enable two-factor authentication on their Ring account, add Shared Users (instead of sharing login credentials), use strong passwords, and regularly change their passwords."
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.