On Saturday, August 17th, a Texas couple walked into a privacy invasion that they never saw coming. After hearing strange noises emitting from their two-year-old’s baby monitor, this couple ventured into their daughter’s room to find a voice yelling sexual and offensive comments at their young child. As if this story couldn’t get creepier, the supposed hacker was able to learn the child’s name from pictures on the wall, and proceeded to use the infant’s name in his insults. When the hacker detected that the parent’s had entered the room, he began to cast similar comments at them until the father was able to unplug the device.
The most puzzling aspect of this whole occurrence was that the father had taken the proper precautions recommended for the protected use of this internet-connected baby monitor. These precautionary measures included establishing passwords for the camera and router, as well as enabling a firewall. Although the parents had done their research and were confident that their purchase was safe, all of their efforts were still not enough.
Contrary to most cyber crime, this act was performed with no attempt for self-gain. Therefore, it is harder to classify this crime from a prosecution standpoint. According to Kevin Smith, an attorney specializing in criminal law, the hacker will likely be charged with, “More 20th century criminal charges like harassment, threatening, voyeurism and risk of injury to a minor.” When it comes to hacking, individuals capable of such actions are virtually able to maneuver around any cyber obstacle if they try hard enough. This ability, when misused, can be terrifying, as can be verified by these two Texas parents. Luckily for their daughter, however, who is hearing deficient, her cochlear implants were turned off during the brutal barrage of insults. It all just goes to show, however, that no internet-connected device is fully-protected, no matter what the product claims.
Dragani, Rachelle. “Hacker Invades Baby Monitor in Texas Home.” TechNewsWorld: All Tech. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.