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Dave Ross

The voice in the nursery

Security expert Kevin Mitnik still advises you to think twice before enabling the internet access feature of any baby monitor. (Commercial Image)

A young couple in Houston claims that the camera system they were using to monitor their two toddlers was hacked.

Mark Gilbert told a local TV station that he was washing dishes over the weekend when he heard a voice coming from the his baby monitor.

As he and his wife got closer to the camera, what it was saying got worse. “‘He said, wake up Allison, you little (expletive,)'” described Gilbert.

Gilbert knew it was coming from the camera.

I talked to former computer hacker turned security expert Kevin Mitnik about this case.

“There is a known security vulnerability in a particular device that was compromised. The manufacturer says it’s now been fixed.”

But Mitnik still advises you to think twice before enabling the internet access feature of any baby monitor.

“A lot of the manufacturers that create these devices don’t think about security concerns until somebody finds it,” said Mitnik.

Even worse are baby monitors that work by actually broadcasting a low-power TV signal. ABC’s Good Morning America found out those signals could be picked up just by driving through the neighborhood.

“We were shocked. The images were coming into our news vehicle crystal clear,” said the ABC reporter.

You were shocked – imagine the mothers!

In the case of the Gilberts in Houston, their little girl never heard a thing – she was born deaf and uses an ear implant to hear – which was turned off at the time.
As is that baby monitor now, by the way.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

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About the Author

Dave Ross

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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