String of home security hacks subject residents to racial, harassing taunts
(ABC News via Ashley LeMay) —Multiple U.S. families have reported incidents of Ring camera systems being hacked in recent days, raising questions as to whether the systems are allowing hackers access to people’s homes, without ever having to set foot inside.
Owners of Ring security cameras in Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Texas have reported incidents where hackers tormented families with racial slurs, encouraged children into destructive behavior and demanded a ransom in Bitcoin.
Only four days after installing it, her 8-year-old daughter, Alyssa, heard music and a banging noise coming from the room where the camera was installed.
Alyssa says that when she began looking for the source of the noise, she heard a voice saying, “I’m Santa Claus, don’t you want to be my best friend?”
Lemay says the voice taunted Alyssa and encouraged her to mess up her room and break her TV before her dad came into the room and shut the camera off.
“I was even scared of my room for a few days. I’m still a little bit scared of it,” Alyssa told “GMA.”
In response to the incidents, Ring said in a statement,
“Customer trust is important to us and we take the security of our devices seriously. Our security team has investigated this incident and we have no evidence of an unauthorized intrusion or compromise of Ring’s systems or network.”
“Recently, we were made aware of an incident where malicious actors obtained some Ring users’ account credentials (e.g., username and password) from a separate, external, non-Ring service and reused them to log in to some Ring accounts,” the statement continued. “Unfortunately, when the same username and password is reused on multiple services, it’s possible for bad actors to gain access to many accounts.
“Upon learning of the incident, we took appropriate actions to promptly block bad actors from known affected Ring accounts and affected users have been contacted.”