When Heather and Adam Schreck heard a voice coming from their 10-month-old daughter's room, they thought someone had broken into their home.
'He was screaming, 'Wake up, baby. Wake up, baby.' And then just a long, 'Ahhhh,' screaming at her."
But when Adam got up to check, he realized the voice was coming from the baby monitor. And whoever it was, he began shouting at Adam.
Turns out the camera was hacked. The Cincinnati couple says they feel violated. They don't know just how many times the camera in their daughter's room had been hacked or how long someone else had been watching.
Baby monitors, like the Foscam wireless camera the Schrecks use, are common for parents looking for a way to check on their babies from anywhere. But that doesn't mean they're always secure.
There was a similar case involving one of these cameras last August, when Houston parents heard a voice coming from their toddler's room. A security expert tells ABC how the hackers get in.
"Everybody out there on the internet – the good guys, the bad guys – if they can get past that network router, then they can see all of the devices that are on your network."
That includes any internet-connected baby monitors. And if they get into your network, they only need to hack into your device to take control – an easy task if owners have a common password.
Following the August story, Forbes reported a firmware security flaw in the Foscam cameras made thousands of the devices in the U.S. vulnerable to such a hack. An update meant to fix it was reportedly released a few months before, in June.
But new firmware is only good if device owners make the update. So if you own one of these cameras – or something similar – here are a few quick tips.
1) Check the manufacturer's site for firmware updates.
2) Be sure to change the camera's username and password from the factory default.
3) Regularly change your wireless network's username and password, but make sure it's different from your camera's.
This type of hack isn't exclusive to Foscam devices, so it's important to keep tabs on all internet-connected devices you use. As for the Schrecks, they are taking this advice and say they will keep the camera.