Ring Hacked: Doorbell and Camera Security Issues
Some people have had experiences whereby their kids were playing with their dog and suddenly a voice starts talking via the pet camera.
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In other cases, reports have been made where a familiar face is seen in the doorbell camera but instead of the familiar face that was seen, a stranger walks in. all these are due to Ring doorbell hacks and in this article, you would learn more about it.
What Are Ring Security Devices?
Ring is a home security company owned by Amazon and they offer smart cameras and doorbells. The Ring doorbell is a smart security device that allows you to control your front door remotely. So you can let in guests to your home by opening the door for them remotely. It’s mounted next to your front door and connected to your smartphone via Wi-Fi. So you can see whoever is at the door through the camera before letting them in.
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Ring also offers indoor cameras that allow you to monitor your home in your absence. So you can check on your kids while you are away, or keep an eye on your pets. The cameras come with motion sensors and a two-way talk feature that allows you to communicate with someone in real-time.
How Ring’s Smart Devices Can Compromise Your Safety?
Ring has had its share of security issues, and while some of them have been tagged as being resolved, their security cameras and doorbells have a bad track record from users. So in case you were wondeRing, Ring doorbell hacks are real.
Researchers at Dojo, the internet of things company, found out that hackers can intercept signals from your Ring doorbell by accessing its network. Accessing the network is possible because Ring doesn’t make use of an encrypted network between the device and its application. So anyone who hacks your Ring device can steal your Wi-Fi password, monitor, who leaves and enters your house, and trick you into letting a stranger into your house by showing you a video of a familiar face. Amazon has stated however that the issue has been fixed in later versions of the app.
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Ring cameras are not free from their fair share of security issues. A user name Ashley LeMay sued Ring after a stranger hacked the system and talked to her daughter through the indoor security camera. The hacker gained access to the camera and told her daughter via the camera’s microphone that he was Santa and that she should destroy all her belongings. Another family reported that their Ring camera was hacked and the hacker was talking to them via the camera’s microphone as they were getting ready to go to bed.
The following video shows a news report of videos from hacked Ring cameras:
Even though Ring can be blamed for most of the issues users are facing, the users are not completely free from blaming themselves. There are some safety precautions that users can put in place to ensure that they are secure rather than put all their safety in the hands of companies while they use their products. In 2019, more than 3000 credentials of Ring users were online and they came from a credential stuffing attack rather than a hack of the company’s database.
What the hackers did was to use username and password combinations from other data breaches that had occurred and used them to log into the user’s Ring accounts. This was successful for most because most people make use of the same credentials for all their online accounts.
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The incident could have been prevented to a large extent if Ring had a security feature that informed users of login from strange IP addresses. Ring also doesn’t provide login history to users so there is no way to tell if someone has been snooping around.
Reports from users make it difficult to trust the company’s level of security as some users have complained that they could still log in to their accounts with old passwords even after having changed it. What’s worse is that two-factor authentication was enabled. In one report from a Reddit user, it was reported that Ring doorbell was sending data to China. Ring has acknowledged the existence of the problem and promised to fix it.
How to Prevent Ring Doorbell and Camera Hacks?
If you are in love with Ring’s doorbell and cameras, or you already have them and want to make use of them, there are some precautions you can put in place to ensure you are safe.
- Enhance the security of your Wi-Fi using a guest network and a strong password. Ensure that your settings are well customized to enhance safety, for example, disable SSID broadcast and do not share your Wi-Fi publicly
- Use two-factor authentication, and choose very strong and unique passwords that you are not using anywhere else. If you fear that you may forget your password, make use of a good password manager.
- Use a firewall and antivirus to protect your network from hackers
- Mount your Ring devices in a safe place where they can’t be tampered with or stolen
- Make sure all software is up to date. This includes the Ring app on your smartphone, and the device software itself. Most updates come with closed backdoors and security updates to make you safer so you must install them as they come.
- Sharing Ring videos on social media could help an attacker in creating a profile about you so don’t do it.
- Since hackers can have access to both your live stream and old footage, you should delete old footage after a while. This way, less information would be available to your attacker in the event of a security breach.
- Crown it all up by using a VPN. a VPN will hide your IP address so that you remain anonymous, and will also encrypt your connection so that sent and received data are secure.
Ring devices offer you a great solution to watch over your home, kids, and pets even in your absence, but their loopholes and security risks are a threat to safety. Ring doorbell hacks although common can be avoided. There are safe practices involved in using your Ring devices, and the best of them all is the use of a VPN. a premium VPN not only keeps you safe by encrypting your shared data and connection, but it also keeps you safe by concealing your IP address.