A recent opinion piece from Mercury News reveals more of the same – hackers continue to use wireless devices to threaten people and this happens a lot. In this case – the hacker used a Nest camera.
It was an unremarkable Wednesday afternoon when our nanny texted my wife and me asking if we were speaking through one of the Nest cameras in our house. We both replied that we were not.
In April, Mercury News published a similar article about a hacker using a Nest camera to threaten a child.
Tara Thomas thought her daughter was just having nightmares. “There’s a monster in my room,” the almost-3-year-old would say, sometimes pointing to the green light on the Nest Cam installed on the wall above her bed.
Then Thomas realized her daughter’s nightmares were real. In August, she walked into the room and heard pornography playing through the Nest Cam, which she had used for years as a baby monitor in their Novato, California, home.
Families being stalked and threatened through wireless devices is not new (see 1, 2). Many people still don’t realize that anything connected wirelessly is vulnerable to hacking. Accessing the internet through a wired connection with an Ethernet cord is not as easy to hack.
Wired internet connections also don’t emit harmful and carcinogenic wireless WiFi radiation. Children are more vulnerable to exposure because they are smaller and their skulls are thinner (see 1, 2, 3).
For many years telecom companies have been warning their investors how they may eventually be found liable for causing harm with their products and transmitters. Insurance companies don’t do business with them anymore because it’s too risky (see 1, 2).