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A recent spate of breaches involving in-home Ring security cameras, owned by Amazon, in several states across the US have raised concerns that these surveillance cameras are forming a threat to families and the public.
Ring users can monitor the cameras on the company’s smartphone app and speak to people inside their home and at their front door using a two-way audio feature. The security camera has HD video, night vision, and a two-way talk feature, so the hacker can not only talk to the people, but also see them. The incidents included strangers starting to talk to people at their homes through their Ring cameras.
Cybersecurity experts say all it takes is a user name and password for hackers to gain access to the devices.
The company attributed the recent episodes to hackers gaining users’ login credentials. “Malicious actors obtained some Ring users’ account credentials (e.g., user name and password) from a separate, external, non-Ring service and reused them to log in to some Ring accounts.” There has been “no evidence of an unauthorized intrusion or compromise of Ring’s systems or network, the company said.
The company is reminding its customers to use multifactor authentication, which requires users to verify their identity by entering a code that they receive as a text message or by using an authentication application, in addition to their password.
“Unfortunately, when the same user name and password is reused on multiple services, it’s possible for bad actors to gain access to many accounts,” the statement said, according to nytimes.com.
However, experts assert that more should be done to protect users of the devices, which are connected to a home Wi-Fi network and managed by a mobile application.
Meanwhile, product warning asserting Ring cameras are “not safe” was published by a collective of privacy digital rights groups, spearheaded by Fight for the Future. Activists are urging the public to avoid the products and help educate others of the apparent security risks.