Panic swept over an Australian mom after she heard a suspicious sound coming from her baby monitor only to discover it had been hacked into while her child was sleeping.
Eden Thomson initially put the sound down to her son moving around in bed but when she checked the Vtech device, its camera was actually panning around his room.
“I literally looked at the monitor and it was moving, like, panning the room,” Thomson said in a now viral TikTok.
“Someone hacked into my baby monitor and was looking around the room,” she added, revealing that only an hour earlier, she was in the room dressing her son after a shower.
“We got him dressed in his room and at that point, the monitor was on as well.”
The mom, who decided to throw the monitor away, issued a warning to other parents about the devices.
“This is just a thing for the parents out there to be wary of your baby monitors, anyone can hack into them, it’s actually so easy for hackers to do that,” she said.
“It’s very scary, so just be wary parents.”
Thomson showed footage taken from her phone showing the camera panning around her son’s room, with her heard saying, “oh my gosh, someone is moving our monitor, what do I do?”
Her Vtech device was not connected to her Wi-Fi, leaving some viewers questioning whether it was even possible for a stranger to gain access to the device.
Owner of Expert IT Solutions, Paul Schnackenburg, told news.com.au that not only was it possible, it was extremely common.
“Just because it’s not connected to Wi-Fi, doesn’t mean it’s not connected to something,” Schnackenburg said.
“For example, it could be connected to Bluetooth, which is definitely hackable.”
Networks connected to other devices like gaming consoles or even the screen connected to the camera in the baby’s room were “definitely hackable”, he said.
Baby monitors were just one modern device to explode in popularity in the last 10 years with “completely inadequate” security.
“None of this stuff has anywhere near appropriate levels of security,” Schnackenburg said.
He referenced an investigation by security researcher Troy Hunt in 2019 who found a brand of smart watches for children could be easily hacked into to find a child’s location and alter it, while also listening to and speaking to them.
“It’s unbelievably scary stuff,” he said, calling on Australian regulators to take smart device security more seriously.
Schnackenburg proposed Australia adopt a protocol recently introduced in the United States, called the US Cyber Trust Mark, which applies a special sticker to devices with specific security and privacy features.
News.com.au has sought comment from Vtech.