Hacker Accessed a Family’s Ring Camera and Began Harassing Their 8-Year Old Daughter
When Ashely LeMay installed a Ring security camera in their children’s room, she thought it would serve as a proper safety measure for her three daughters. She never expected it to be used as a tool to harass and scare her children. In a chilling video, we see 8-year old Alyssa LeMay walk into her room after hearing strange music and sounds emanating from inside.
The music playing was a quavering rendition of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” a song that was made infamous after being featured in the horror film, Insidious. Upon entering her room to investigate, the sounds abruptly cease, only to be replaced with a man’s voice ominously saying “Hello there.” The voice belonged not to her father, but rather a stranger who accessed the Ring camera in the girl’s room. In addition to speaking to her, the man was able to hear and see through the compromised camera.
The exchange that followed was incredibly disturbing. The faceless man began to repeatedly encourage the girl to participate in “destructive behavior” and directed inappropriate slurs toward her. He then goes on to tell her that her “I’m your best friend. I’m Santa Claus! Don’t you want to be my best friend?”
Ashely LeMay, mother of Alyssa LeMay, told The Washington Post “I can’t even put into words how badly I feel and how badly my children feel.” She added “I did the exact opposite of adding another security measure. I put them at risk and there’s nothing I can do to ease their mind. I can’t tell them I know who it is. I can’t tell them that they’re not going to show up at our house in the middle of the night.”
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Ring security cameras have been compromised in people’s homes. There have been several reported nationwide of similar occurrences where hackers are able to infiltrate these camera systems and harass residents using the two-way talk function.
Ring has said that the breach did not occur on their end, but rather likely involved the hacker using stolen or leaked credentials to log into the camera. “Customer trust is important to us and we take the security of our devices seriously,” the spokesperson said.
LeMay contacted Ring to report the situation, but she said a representative repeatedly reminded her that this likely would not have occurred if she had set up two-factor authentication as an extra layer of security. She told The Washington Post “To be honest, it felt like they were trying to place the blame on me. As a mother, I already feel guilty enough that I let this happen to my family … There’s just no need for that.”