Ring cameras compromised by numerous hackers
The Ring video doorbell and camera systems present themselves as a home security measure engineered to provide safety in homes and reduce crime in neighborhoods. The intent, like with many of these camera systems, is to allow for users to see and monitor their home and love ones via wireless services. Recently however, Ring has come under scrutiny after a series of users have been hacked, and their cameras compromised by “bad actors” that seek to harass and terrorize users of the cameras, and their families.
Despite the increasing number of these incidents and series of complaints from users Ring has stood firm on the stance that they have not suffered any kind of security breach after conducting an investigation of their own systems.
Instead the company has pointed to numerous other security breaches and has been urging subscribers to change their account credentials to something unique as well as set up two-factor authentication to improve security measures.
As many people tend to re-use sign-in credentials across multiple websites, it is often the case that information from an unrelated data breach can lead to a compromise across several websites or services. This is sound advice, as in many cases, having unique usernames and passwords for websites can add an additional layer in case one of them were to become compromised.
When home security safety measures aren’t safe
For one woman in Grand Prairie, Texas however, those suggestions didn’t measure up. Having used a unique 21-character password to protect her Ring account, she and her boyfriend had already been following many of the steps Ring was suggesting. She also discovered that Ring doesn’t have an account lockout feature for failed login attempts.
This becomes a greater problem with a recent discovery by Vice Motherboard that on a number of forums for hacking and criminal activity, several instances have been found of hackers creating and distributing programs that can check if a username or password allows access to a Ring camera with startling speed.
Coupling those two things together, potential hackers can continually attempt to login and never be stopped until they get what they are looking for. With such ease of access to that information, it makes it simple for these invasions of privacy to occur.
Taking back home security and peace of mind
With all these breaches, and the ways to do them being simple to procure, many are asking what is possible to do in order to have a home security system that is just that, secure. While alternatives to Ring exist, the problems that they come with are similar should a hacker decide to turn their attention towards another brand of wireless home security cameras.
Things like two-factor authentication, and unique sign-in credentials are both parts of maintaining a safe home security network. But there are other things that can be done to minimize the risks of compromise. Practicing some of these habits when checking in on your video security devices can further ensure that your home is kept safe.
- Exercising caution when accessing public WiFi or using mobile hot spots can provide an additional benefit by making sure your connections are secure, and that your files aren’t being shared with anonymous people in a vast public network.
- Utilizing proper security software to ensure that your devices do not have malware or viruses can protect you from would be hackers trying to gain access to your personal information, and monitoring your activity.
- Use of a VPN. Having the home security video stream running through and accessing it via a VPN can ensure that your home security system is private, and not being utilized by unwanted users.
- Making sure your security data is being stored in a protected, on-site location somewhere within your home. Online cloud storage is a common method of storage that comes with many modern home security cameras but having a local storage to act as a primary place for storage ensures that your information is safeguarded.
- Changing your password regularly alongside using unique, secure combinations can further ensure that even if your information is compromised elsewhere, or a data breach does occur, that your password will be changed with frequency to prevent unwanted log in attempts.
As home security becomes more advanced, so too are the methods that are being used to try and find ways to compromise these systems. Taking extra steps to ensure that your home security network, and your home network as a whole are safe from intrusion can make a vast difference in ensuring that your safety and comfort whether you are within your home, or checking in on it from another location.