MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The ability for people to control door locks, lights and home appliances from their smartphones is growing in popularity.
Those technological advances, however, have also opened the doors of some homes to computer hackers.
Last weekend the Gilberts, a family in Texas, found that a hacker gained access to their video baby monitor and was yelling at their 2-year-old daughter by name, having read it off her bedroom wall.
“He was saying, ‘Wake up, Allyson, you little (expletive) ,” said the girl’s father, Marc Gilbert. “It felt like somebody broke into our house.”
Security researches found flaws in devices made by VeraLite and Insteon, which can control everything from locking doors to flushing toilets, as well as a toy rabbit with a camera hidden inside, intended for parents to keep an eye on the children from a mobiledevice.
“Basically what I can do is open up any of these rooms that have been configured or associated with this device and control them, either turning them on or turning them off,” said a security researcher.
Insteon said it has since fixed the issues identified by the researchers. VeraLite stressed that successful hacks on its devices require use of an insecure Wi-Fi connection.
Security experts advise people with such devices to always use a strong password on their Internet connections, keep their software updated and never click on links from strangers.