Disturbing video shows hacker talking to 8-year-old girl through her bedroom security camera

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Ashley LeMay from Mississippi works overnight at a hospital as a laboratory scientist, so she doesn't get to be with her three young daughters on most nights. After seeing another mom at her work watching and chatting with her own kids via a Ring camera, Ashley decided to take advantage of a Black Friday deal and bought two: one to install in her daughters' shared room and another for her infant daughter's room. "It's really neat that you could talk to them," she said. "When I would go into work, I'd be like, 'Love you, good night.' It just made them feel like I was close." It was "neat" until someone hacked into the camera and started taunting one of her daughters.

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A little after 8 p.m. on December 4, while Ashley was out running an errand and her husband was watching the girls, both of the Ring cameras started playing a creepy rendition of "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" as performed by Tiny Tim. As if that weren't creepy enough, things got worse when the voice of a man started using a racial slur over and over again and encouraging one of Ashley's daughters to tear apart her room and break the TV, making it clear that he could see her.

Ashley decided to share the video of what happened to raise awareness so other families know the potential risks associated with using these devices. Keep reading to find out more about this terrifying breach of security and what you can do to protect your family.

The hacker was taunting an 8-year-old girl.

"First, what happened I was in the hallway I thought it was my sister because I hear music. It’s like, ‘Tiptoe to the window.’ So I come upstairs and I hear some banging noise and I am like, 'Who is that?'" Ashley's 8 -year-old daughter Alyssa.

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The hacker kept talking to and taunting Alyssa.

When Alyssa was in the room, the music stopped and then a man's voice said, "Hello there." Then the voice started using the n-word repeatedly and said, "Go tell your mommy you're a n-----." Alyssa asked again, "Who is that?" The voice replied: “I’m your best friend. You can do whatever you want right now. You can mess up your room. You can break your TV.”

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Terrified Alyssa calls for her mother, then runs out of the room.

You can see and hear Alyssa calling for her mom, then running out of the room to tell her dad that "someone's being weird upstairs."

"That was the most chilling part to me,” Ashley said. “She’s asking for my help and there’s literally nothing I could do to protect her in that moment.”

What did Ring have to say about the incident?

Of course, the family disconnected both their Ring cameras as quickly as they could and Ashley contacted the company. They gave her a pretty canned response and she was reminded multiple times that she had failed to set up two-factor authentication.

“The fact that they’re just continuing to give customers the same blanket statement, it’s like they don’t seem concerned at all,” she said. “To be honest, it felt like they were trying to place the blame on me. As a mother, I already feel guilty enough that I let this happen to my family."

A spokesperson for Ring said in a statement:

"Customer trust is important to us and we take the security of our devices seriously. While we are still investigating this issue and are taking appropriate steps to protect our devices based on our investigation, we are able to confirm this incident is in no way related to a breach or compromise of Ring’s 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. 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."

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What can you do to secure your Ring?

What can you do to secure your Ring?

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To begin with, you should know that the devices have been plagued with multiple security issues and clearly, they continue not to be all that secure. If you decide to use one of these devices regardless of these issues, here are a few things you can to secure your Ring:

  • Set up a Wi-Fi guest network and create a strong password. Customize your settings so that you do not share your Wi-Fi publicly and disable SSID broadcast
  • Set up a firewall and antivirus software
  • Secure your device so that it cannot be easily stolen
  • Keep software up-to-date
  • Do not share any Ring videos on social networking apps
  • Delete old footage so that if there is a breach, less information will be available

Hopefully, the security on these devices will be improved so that no one else will go through what this family went through.

Topics: safety