Hacker Breaks into Smart Home, Turns Up Thermostat, Plays Vulgar Music

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  • The hacker talked to the owner via Nest camera, before playing vulgar music
  • The smart home devices were hacked because of customers using previously compromised passwords, says Google
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Smart home products can make our lives more convenient, but they can also put you at risk.

In a recent incident, a hacker hacked into a couple’s smart home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US, and took control of their Google Nest smart home gadgets.

According to a report by Fox 6 News, the owner, Samantha Westmoreland, found her Nest thermostat turned up to 90° when she returned home from work. She turned it down assuming it was a glitch, but it went up again. Then a voice began speaking from her Nest security camera in the kitchen — and then playing vulgar music.

Samantha and her husband changed their passwords, but the problems persisted.

Eventually, they contacted their internet provider and changed their network ID, assuming someone hacked into their Wi-Fi and then their Nest.

How to eliminate this type of security risk

The local news station reached out to Google about the incident and received a statement which reads as follows:

“Nest was not breached. These reports are based on customers using compromised passwords (exposed through breaches on other websites). In nearly all cases, two-factor verification eliminates this type of security risk.

“Nest users have the option to migrate to a Google Account, giving them access to additional tools and automatic security protections such as Suspicious activity detection, 2-Step Verification and Security Checkup. Millions of users have signed up for two-factor verification.”

The couple had installed a Nest camera, doorbell and thermostat in their home in 2018.

They are upset that their $700 system became a gateway into their home. “It’s supposed to make me feel safe, and I didn’t feel safe,” Samantha was quoted as saying.

The Milwaukee couple shared their story to make others aware that hackers are outsmarting the smart home.

 

Longjam Dineshwori

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