CCTV surveillance security camera video equipment concept

Who’s Watching You? Amazon Ring Devices Are Being Hacked?

Amazon’s Ever-Growing List of Ring-Related Woes

Several class-action lawsuits have been filed against Amazon ever since its smart video and sound enabled Ring Video Doorbell, and wireless IP cameras have fallen prey to hackers. One of the plaintiffs in one class-action suit claims that after installing one of the Ring products in his garage, someone hacked into it and was talking with his children if that isn’t downright creepy!

It gets creepier, nonetheless

Some women have become victims of male stalkers who used their Ring wireless IP security cameras to taunt them as they slumbered. Imagine being a woman living alone and being awoken by a gruff male voice yelling through the Ring speaker to “Wake up! I can see you lying in your bed, now get the f*ck up!” If that isn’t the thing of nightmares, then I don’t know what is.

Scared little girl sitting in bed

Then there was a case where a kid hacked into a couple’s Ring camera that was set up in their kitchen. The hacker intruded on them as they were standing in the kitchen having a discussion and asked them if their biracial son (who was in another room) was a “monkey.”

Security Measures Are There for a Reason!

One would be surprised how easy it is to hack into devices that are connected to the Internet. For something to communicate online, there are a certain number of protocols that must be left open. For example, ports 80 and 443 must be left open by a firewall because they’re necessary for Web service functionality.

Male security guard with portable transmitter monitoring modern CCTV cameras

Port 80 handles HTTP while port 443 handles HTTPS. For this reason, tech companies (big tech companies in particular) almost always suggest users set up two-factor or even three-factor authentication. Two-factor and three-factor (especially) authentication would have prevented most if not all Amazon Ring devices from being hacked.

Much of what these class-action lawsuits seem to rest on is the assumption that Amazon knew its Ring devices were susceptible to attack yet failed to implement essential security measures to protect users from hackers.

However, Amazon does have two-factor authentication for its devices, but according to a 2017 study published by duo.com, many users have said they don’t even know what it is or how to set it up. One of the plaintiffs goes as far as to blame Amazon for him not knowing about two-factor authentication until after his Ring device was hacked.

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