- A Wisconsin couple said a hacker tapped into their smart-home devices and cranked up their heat, talked to them through a camera, and played vulgar music, Fox 6 News reported.
- In a statement on the incident, Google said Nest was not breached and that it encouraged users to use two-factor verification to secure their accounts against hacks.
- This isn’t the first time smart-home devices have been targeted by hackers. A Northern California family said in January that they experienced “five minutes of sheer terror” after their Nest camera was hacked and warned them of a North Korea missile attack.
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A Wisconsin couple said a hacker accessed their smart-home devices and terrorised them over a 24-hour period by cranking up their heat and talking to them through a camera.
Samantha Westmoreland told Fox 6 News that the episode began when she arrived home after work last week and discovered their Google Nest thermostat was set to 90 degrees.
“It gives me the chills just talking about it,” she told Fox.
Westmoreland said she didn’t suspect a hacker was involved until she and her husband heard a voice talking to them through a Nest camera in their kitchen. The hacker also played vulgar music through the camera, according to the Fox report.
“My heart was racing,” Westmoreland told Fox. “I felt so violated at that point.”
The couple said they believed that their wireless internet system was compromised, which enabled the hacker to gain access to their smart-home devices.
Google says Nest was not breached
In a statement on the incident, Google said Nest was not breached.
“These reports are based on customers using compromised passwords (exposed through breaches on other websites). In nearly all cases, two-factor verification eliminates this type of security risk,” the company said.
“Nest users have the option to migrate to a Google Account, giving them access to additional tools and automatic security protections such as suspicious activity detection, two-step verification and security checkup. Millions of users have signed up for two-factor verification.”
Hackers have previously targeted smart-home devices
This isn’t the first time that users of smart-home devices have reported hacks.
A Northern California family said in January that they experienced “five minutes of sheer terror” after their Nest camera was hacked and warned them of a North Korea missile attack. An Illinois couple later said a hacker talked to their baby and taunted them through a Nest camera.
A couple in Houston reported a similar experience last year, saying a hacker announced through their Nest camera: “I’m going to kidnap your baby. I’m in your baby’s room.”
Nest has sold more than 11 million smart-home devices since 2011.
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