Convenient but treacherous: Why baby monitors are so dangerous

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 66
Thread author
Verified
Honorary Member
Top Poster
Content Creator
Well-known
Apr 24, 2016
5,595
Baby monitors can look quite innocent: they resemble teddy bears, toy puppies, plush giraffes, and flowers on long, easily bendable stems. They should not scare the baby while doing an essentially scary thing: stare at the child non-stop and track his or her every movement and sound, be it a cry or a snore. They relay video to the parents in real time and can alert them if something is amiss, such as if the baby’s nose and mouth are covered or if the baby ventures out of the crib — the designated “smart zone”.

The nannies of tomorrow

Monitors can’t replace a babysitter, but they can help parents keep an eye on their little ones wherever they are: in the next room or, in the case of Wi-Fi-enabled monitors, in another city. Some cameras can pan 360 degrees on their own and zoom in on the baby. If a baby’s having a tantrum, the monitor will sooth it with a lullaby that can be turned on remotely in the mobile app. And if this doesn’t help, parents can talk to the baby and hear it cooing and giggling (or crying) thanks to the two-way communication feature.

But baby monitors’ innocent appearance can be deceptive. Like any other modern tech, they are vulnerable to breaches. And once they fall prey to hackers, they can bring the entire smart home system down with them. A compromised baby monitor can serve as a gateway to the local home network and to any other device connected to that network: a smart voice assistant, smart speakers, smart plugs, smart bulbs, a smart vacuum cleaner — you name it.

What’s more: while criminals who may be looking for a backdoor to a smart home are bad enough already, there are also sexual predators lurking around, who may leave the baby’s psyche scarred.

Lackluster security and extreme vulnerability to attacks are what baby monitors with internet connection became notorious for. But that did not curb their popularity. The global baby monitor market is valued at more than $1 billion, and it continues to grow. While there are also digital and analog monitors, they lack one major perk which busy parents seek in baby smart tech: an unlimited range. Even the best digital monitors cover up to 1,000 — 1,200 feet (300 meters) max.

So, unless new parents are ready to lose remote access to the monitor, they have to accept the risks that go with it and try to minimize them. But in order to do the latter, one needs to know just exactly how bad actors hijack baby monitors.
 

TedCruz

Level 5
Aug 19, 2022
223
Yeah when wife and I were shopping for a baby monitor we made sure to purchase one that does not connect to our Wifi, it just uses the internal RF that's keyed to their receiver. Sure the distance is not as good as a WiFi one but it's sufficient and one less IoT device around. Besides, if Wifi Goes down we won't have to worry about losing the connection.
 

Stopspying

Level 19
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Jan 21, 2018
936
Similar privacy problems cropped up when certain internet enabled kids toys first appeared on the market, some were collecting all sorts of information, including video and sound recordings. A lot of people bought them without being fully aware of their more sinister implications. It seems that these attempts to intrude into our homes will not cease as the march of internet connectivity cranks up
 

TedCruz

Level 5
Aug 19, 2022
223
Similar privacy problems cropped up when certain internet enabled kids toys first appeared on the market, some were collecting all sorts of information, including video and sound recordings. A lot of people bought them without being fully aware of their more sinister implications. It seems that these attempts to intrude into our homes will not cease as the march of internet connectivity cranks up
I would love to introduce some giggling/crying children toys to some of my friend's households. Since nothing can wake you up faster at a dead of a dark night than a gentle children laughter or cry...especially if you don't have children.
 
Last edited:
  • HaHa
Reactions: Stopspying

Stopspying

Level 19
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Jan 21, 2018
936
I would love to introduce some giggling/crying children toys to some of my friend's households. Since nothing can wake you up faster at in a dead of a dark night than a gentle children laughter or cry...especially if you don't have children.
It would be very freaky waking up to kids laughing here, we have none that should be in the house. But, that would be preferable to some of the noise we get from the herring gulls on the roof, especially at dawn when this is not far off of 4 AM at certain times of the year..
 

About us

  • MalwareTips is a community-driven platform providing the latest information and resources on malware and cyber threats. Our team of experienced professionals and passionate volunteers work to keep the internet safe and secure. We provide accurate, up-to-date information and strive to build a strong and supportive community dedicated to cybersecurity.

User Menu

Follow us

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to know first about the latest cybersecurity incidents and malware threats.

Top