Anything connected to the Internet can be targeted by a hacker, and smart baby monitors are no exception. Here is more about the risks available for baby monitor devices.
What is a baby monitor?
The modern baby products industry has made life much easier for parents who are concerned about the safety of their children in their absence. However, small children are difficult to keep track of, even when they are at home. For these purposes the digital baby monitor is intended, a compact wireless device capable of transmitting sounds over long distances. The baby monitor consists of a baby unit with a highly sensitive microphone installed in the baby’s room and a parent receiver that you can carry with you.
Baby monitors can be digital and analog. There are basic points to differentiate:
- The advantages of digital models are their clarity of sound, absence of interference, and automatic channel switching. But their price is much higher than analog ones.
- If we talk about analog baby monitors, then everything is much simpler. Their cost is low, the channels are manually tuned and by the way, there are not as many of them as digital models. Sometimes interference may occur due to the influence of other devices.
Why can baby monitors be unsafe and unsecured?
The number of cyberattacks is increasing every year. Attackers quickly learn to use new technologies and how to bypass security systems. The targets of criminals are not only large organizations but also ordinary people.
The SafetyDetectives has discovered a misconfiguration vulnerability in the baby monitors, the exploitation of which could potentially provide unauthorized access to the video stream of each camera.
It is difficult to determine that a device has been compromised, especially if the attackers do not show their presence in any way. Sometimes parents found out about the hacking when they found photos and videos on the Internet. This may also be indicated by camera movements when no one in the family is using the device.
Numerous baby monitors using the RTSP protocol do not require authentication to connect third-party users. First of all, problems arise from devices designed for local networks that are streaming over the Internet. Many baby monitors are designed for use on local networks. Unfortunately, if an institution has to stream from this type of device on the Internet and the connection is not password protected, there is nothing stopping anyone from accessing the cameras.
How to protect yourself?
You don’t need a lot of technical knowledge to avoid hacking. Here’s what you should do to provide baby monitor safety:
- If you want a home camera, be sure to read the user manual and change the factory passwords. This is one of the main reasons baby monitors or webcams are so easy to hack. Cybercriminals have huge databases of compromised passwords that are commonly used to configure such devices. Change it to a strong unique password and never use the same password for all your accounts.
- Always use two-factor authentication if your device allows it. This means that you will need to enter your password as usual and confirm your login with your phone. Two-factor verification greatly reduces the likelihood of hackers gaining access to your devices.
- Set up a VPN on your router to protect all of your devices. Installing a VPN on your laptop or phone is great, but it doesn’t protect your home cameras or any other devices connected to your home router. With a VPN router, you can protect devices that don’t have an antivirus or don’t support VPN themselves.