This week a group of hackers made headlines in the US after they compromised Ring cameras.
The most disturbing of these occurrences involves an eight year old girl. The child heard a strange noise in her room and went upstairs to investigate according to a report by WMC Action News 5.
That noise turned out to be hacker who had compromised a Ring camera the family had purchased on Black Friday.
The hacker reportedly told the child he was Santa Claus, and her best friend before encouraging her to destroy her stuff. You can watch a video clip of the incident below thanks to ABC News.
This is far from the only incident according to Ars Technica. Ring camera owners have had to deal with racist slurs, hackers yelling in the midding of the night and trolling in the most disturbing forms possible.
While the immediate reaction is to blame Ring, it appears as if hackers are specifically targeting Ring cameras with purpose-built software.
Several hacking forum were reportedly distributing a file called Ring Video Doorbell Config according to Motherboard. This file allows hackers to brute force Ring’s security by testing usernames and passwords multiple times.
Of course, there is not just one version of this file and Motherboard Vice reports that some entrepreneurial hackers are selling the tool for a premium.
“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,” a Ring spokesperson said in a statement.
For now Ring has said that customers should enable two-factor authentication as this allows for login-verification via a secondary service such as an SMS or email. Users should also use strong passwords and regularly change passwords.
While the Internet of Things can be incredible, incidents such as this highlight how far we still need to go before everything being connected to everything is safe for everybody.