Is Your Baby Monitor Vulnerable to Hackers?

Photo (cc) by donnierayjones

Video baby monitors are designed as safety devices, meant to provide parents with peace of mind and allow them to keep a watchful eye on their little ones.

Now consider this: many Internet-connected baby monitors lack even the most basic security features, allowing hackers easy access to your child’s private world. That’s the warning from Boston-based security firm Rapid 7 Inc., which just released a new report on the vulnerabilities of baby monitors.

Rapid 7 recently tested the security of nine popular, widely available brands of Internet-connected baby monitors. What the company found was alarming.

“Eight of the nine cameras got an F and one got a D minus,” said Rapid 7 security researcher Mark Stanislav in an interview with Fusion. “Every camera had one hidden account that a consumer can’t change because it’s hard coded or not easily accessible. Whether intended for admin or support, it gives an outsider backdoor access to the camera.”

Rapid 7 also found that some of the monitors didn’t encrypt their data streams or web and mobile features.

The thought of some weirdo having easy access to video of infants and toddlers sleeping or playing in what should be the safety of their own bedrooms is frightening.

The tested baby monitors ranged in price from about $55 to $260 and include these: iBaby M6 and iBaby M3S; Withings WBP01; WiFi Baby WFB2015; Philips In.Sight B120; TRENDnet Baby Cam TV-IP743SIC; Summer Infant’s Summer Baby Zoom WiFi Monitor & Internet Viewing System; Lens Laboratory Peek-a-View; and Gynoii.

The more expensive video monitors unfortunately didn’t translate to higher levels of security, according to The Associated Press.

“In fact, the pricier models usually came with more features, which left unsecured could give hackers more ways to potentially access a camera or its video stream,” the AP noted.

If you have an Internet-enabled video baby monitor, here are some tips from Rapid 7 to safeguard your device from prying eyes:

  • Updates: It’s important to look for camera or mobile application or firmware updates for your baby monitor.
  • Password protection: If your monitor has a default password, make sure you change it to a strong password that protects access.
  • Use with care: If you have a baby camera with known vulnerabilities, stop using it or only use it sparingly and unplug it when not in use.

Stanislav said that since his research was published, he’s been inundated with questions about baby monitors.

“I’m a super popular person with pregnant women right now,” said Stanislav by phone to Fusion. “Everyone is asking me about which baby monitor they should buy.”

For parents who want an Internet-connected baby monitor, Stanislav said he recommends the Google-owned Nest’s Nestcam, formerly known as Dropcam.

“I’ve got a lot of faith in it and use it,” Stanislav said.

Rapid 7 disclosed the monitors’ vulnerabilities with the companies that manufactured them. The security company noted that Phillips was the most responsive of the vendors that it approached, committing itself to quickly developing a software update that it would provide to customers.

Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
2-Minute Money Strategy: How Should I Invest My Retirement Savings?
2-Minute Money Strategy: How Should I Invest My Retirement Savings?

If retirement is on the horizon, you can’t afford to take too much risk, but you also need to make as much as possible. Here are your options.

7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales
7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales

Here’s what an experienced estate sale shopper considers a great find.

Here’s the Average Retirement Age in Your State
Here’s the Average Retirement Age in Your State

Are you on track to retire at the same age as most residents of your state?

7 Unexpected Perks of Downsizing as a Retiree
7 Unexpected Perks of Downsizing as a Retiree

Downsizing your home offers many benefits, including some you may not have anticipated.

10 Colleges That Offer Free Tuition for Seniors
10 Colleges That Offer Free Tuition for Seniors

These schools let retirement-age students study, tuition-free, while earning college credit.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.