I reckon that’s the salient point. I can see the cloud capable application for home security, but for baby monitors it just seems to be adding this incredible risk for no tangible gain. The old school one we are using transmits via radio frequency, and OK a neighbour with a scanner could theoretically eavesdrop on us, but that cuts the potential pool of ‘griefers’ by around 7 billion…
We have a radio based one as well. Although it works ok, having it connected to wifi would address a number of problems like the persistent interference we experience with our laptops, microwave, etc. Depending on the construction of your home, internet enabled devices may make sense as well. Also, the internet enabled devices were cheaper (IIRMC) because another device is used for the screen.
In between we had a unit that transmitted digitally on 2.4 ghz but wasn’t wifi enabled, that is technically the best of both worlds because it was long range and the signal is encrypted, however it died after 18 months or so. The radio frequency unit soldiers on…
Edit: Although obviously it is still limited by radio frequency transmission if you really live in a bunker… so yeah you are right, there are applications for the technology.
Basically if it can get out, someone else will find a way to get back in. I don’t blame the parents as what seems like basic duh don’t use the default password, basic internet security learnin’ is lost on a lot of people.
I am honestly surprised we haven’t seen a lot more of this considering how often we find out all kinds of other internet things are about as secure as an unlocked door.
Seriously shocked by the quickness with blaming the parents. The company is culpable and the griefer is, well, a griefer. I don’t think there should be an unreasonable expectation of privacy by parents. Don’t we all expect our photos stored in private accounts to remain private, our private emails to remain private, etc? Forregular people (i.e., not sys admins or other computer geeks) who live most of their lives on internet connected devices, it is not crazy or irresponsible to use an internet enabled system like this in your home. At some point in everyone’s daily life there is some piece of technology that we take for granted is safe, works, etc. Same thing here.
Lets agree, you and I that the parents are not to blame here. They’re not.
Yes. And no.
My argument is that regular folk expect privacy, they are not wrong to expect security.
Every day, manufacturers show that they are not interested in providing privacy and that security is hard, it is double plus hard when privacy takes a back seat to monetizing customer data.
They are not. This is hard to ignore post snowden.
It is silly to not understand how it works and presume it works as its intended to. Regular plain old folk do well in mistrusting technology. It’s reasonable.
I disagree. I don’t know how my car works and I don’t need to, I just know it does. If it stops working I take it to a specialist who fixes it for me. The VAST majority of people who own a computer and/or computer based, so called “internet of things” devices are the same.
Edit: To claim people who, for instance, buy a video baby monitor must understand the full communications technology and all its potential risks before they are allowed to use it, is idiotic.
After a couple more years of this sort of thing happening, perhaps “regular people” will learn that “connecting your baby’s bedroom monitor to the Internet” is akin to “driving on tires that are so worn the cord is showing” or “trying to drag a raccoon out from under your porch with your bare hands”.
Every last piece of hardware is hackable. Especially so those that are connected to the internet.
While I’m absolutely not out to victim blame, I personally don’t believe there’s a reasonable expectation of privacy for any device I’ve connected to the internet. I’ve seen too much shit man.
Now, it’s still completely outrageous that this happened, and parents should be able to assume that their baby monitor is adequately protected from external threats. But I personally wouldn’t have that expectation.
I’ll accept we disagree, but I didn’t say people should understand, I only said smart devices and cloud technology don’t have a reputation for security and privacy. Any assumption to the contrary is unfounded.
OK, let’s also agree that the manufacturer messed up and made a crappy product.
I’ll only point to this story as one more data point on a mounting pile of evidence that points toward Internet connected devices being considered insecure by default. Here’s hoping they gain our trust one day.
Especially for a 3 year old. That’s definitely old enough to get the adults if there is a problem.
Or if the child wants a drink of water. Or the child simply wants to let the parents know that everything has been fine for the previous five minutes. Or that it’s 3:30 AM and now it’s sunny out and it’s time to get up and watch Disney. The list goes on.
Right. But that’s not a problem with baby monitors (well, aside from this one in particular, and its awful security holes). That’s a problem with assholes.
Since you made essentially the same point a couple times, I’ll quote them all and reply once. For us folks round these parts, yes, this is absolutely true that these things are common knowledge. But for folks who aren’t technologically/security minded, though? The big cross-section of society that can’t wait for the next episode of the Kardashians? It’s definitely not common knowledge.
I don't think it would be overly hard for a baby monitor manufacturer to, say, have an individual random default password for each internet-enabled monitor sold. This seems like a trivially simple start to protecting those who are ignorant of such things, or don't think they need to change the default password, or are too lazy to read the manual, etc.
Heh, that might have been why. I think the idea was that, with a monitor, parents aren’t actually checking on their babies as often, so they miss any sign that precedes SIDS. Also newer monitors/mattresses that collect information on heart rate are fallible, so they may not actually register loss of breathing. Or some sort of link between parents’ anxiety actually increasing SIDS. But the increased risk was small, statistically questionable.