Houston Family’s Baby Monitor Targeted by Hacker
(HOUSTON) -- A Houston couple is still shaken after hearing the voice of a strange man cursing and making lewd comments in the bedroom of their 2-year-old daughter.
When Marc Gilbert and his wife Laura entered the room, the voice cursed them as well.
The voice -- which had a British or European accent -- was coming from the family’s baby monitor that was also equipped with a camera. A hacker had taken over the monitor.
The incident occurred on Aug. 10 as Marc Gilbert was doing the dishes after his birthday dinner and he heard strange noises coming from his daughter Alison’s room while she was sleeping.
“Right away I knew something was wrong,” he told ABC News.
As he and his wife got closer to the room, they heard the voice calling his daughter an “effing moron,” and telling her, “wake up you little slut.”
The hacker then began shouting expletives at her parents.
“At that point I ran over and disconnected it and tried to figure out what happened,” said Gilbert. “[I] couldn’t see the guy. All you could do was hear his voice and [that] he was controlling the camera.”
Alison is deaf, said Gilbert, so she did not wake up. “It’s somewhat of a blessing,” said Gilbert of his daughters’ hearing impairment. “If she had heard it it would have been a big problem.”
Their son Ethan, 3, did not hear anything either and only woke up after he heard his parents that night.
Gilbert wonders whether there were similar previous incidents that he wasn’t aware of.
“It’s quite possible that this had been going on more than one day,” he said. “Security vulnerabilities exist.”
Gilbert did not report the incident to the police, but said he is still shaken up and wary about publicizing the story for fear of endangering his children. He was also reluctant to provide photographs of his children.
He did call his internet service provider, who told him to check his passwords on the device. Gilbert said he is leaving the device permanently unplugged.
But he wants other parents to be aware of the potential dangers of the monitors being hacked.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio