Sunday, August 28, 2011

Baby monitors Could be Hacked

Baby monitorsHaving a constant ear and eye on your baby's crib is something that most parents take for granted. Baby monitors have been around for a long time, and in recent years, video-equipped versions have become very popular with new parents. What most users probably don't realize, is that the dozen or so wireless channels that these helpful devices use can often be picked up outside the home — giving anyone with a similar device or wireless receiver an undetectable window into your home.

The vulnerability of such monitor systems was highlighted in 2009 when an Illinois family sued the manufacturer of a baby monitor system they purchased at Toys R Us. After using the system for months, a neighbor — who had recently purchased a similar system — alerted them that their monitor's camera was broadcasting its signal strong enough to be picked up in the neighboring house. The camera's microphone was so sensitive that the unsuspecting neighbors were able to hear entire conversations happening outside of the nursery where it was placed.

Newer baby monitor models feature "frequency hopping" technology that changes channels randomly to ensure privacy, but older, less-secure versions can still be found on store shelves. Check the features list on the side of the box when considering a monitor system to verify this very the device you're purchasing includes this new technology.

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