Caught on camera: Ring cameras hacked across the nation, including Wichita

Published: Dec. 12, 2019 at 6:24 PM CST
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Reports across the U.S. have some family's on edge after some indoor Ring cameras are compromised.

Thursday night, Eyewitness News takes a closer look at reports, including one in Wichita. Ring's technology allows homeowners to gain live access to their doorsteps or inside their homes with a simple touch on their smartphones.

While the live looks can help give peace of mind when a homeowner is away, an important security step is ensuring that you are the only one who has access to your camera.

In the last week, reports across the country show Ring cameras hacked including in Wichita.

"I do know there was a local family that experienced this and (hackers) were talking to them through the camera," says Bill Ramsey a cybersecurity expert in Wichita. "They were telling them not to unplug the camera or bad things would happen because they knew where they lived."

According to a

, that family is Ashley and Jake Norris.

Ashley said she was cooking dinner at home while her husband was at his dad's house. She said all of a sudden someone started talking to her son and their home.

"At first I thought it was coming from Mason’s iPad - like he was FaceTiming a friend. Nope. Then I thought Jake was messing with us on the Ring camera. Jake then walked in the door and it stopped for a few minutes. Then it started back up - when Jake went to unplug it the guy told him to put the camera down and that he knows where we live."

Ashley said the man on the other end went as far as to send a pizza to their home. That's when she said they called Ring security and Wichita police.

"Ring cameras are outta here for good!" Said Ashley.

Similar events happened in Mississippi where someone hacked into the camera in an 8-year-old girl's bedroom, and in Florida where a spying hacker spying hurled racial slurs at a family through their security camera.

Ramsey says guarding the live footage on your Ring camera is as simple as protecting your password.

"Two-factor authentication is something you know and something you have, which is a password usually," he says. "And something you have typically nowadays, (is ) an app that generates a code (sent) to your phone."

With these steps, Ramsey says someone would need your cellphone to hack into your Ring account. He says you are most susceptible to being hacked, however, if you use the same password for different accounts.

"They're not targeting a specific person, they're throwing accounts at it to see what sticks," Ramsey says of hackers. "So, they're going to find some that have the same username and password that is used on other sites that have already been stolen. Then, they're going to find some of those people who have Rings and those accounts are going to get hit."

After hackers steal get personal information from one account, it's likely other accounts are also compromised, Ramsey warns. The two-step verification process with Ring takes minutes and should be enough to keep your information and privacy protected.