Hacker shouts at baby through baby monitor

An Ohio family is asleep when a man's voice reportedly is heard coming from baby's room. It turns out to be someone who thought it funny to hack into the device.

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The Shrecks. Fox 19 screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

One person's funny can be another person's annoying, tasteless, intrusive and even scary.

In the case of one Ohio family, it can be all of the above.

The Schrecks were asleep one night in their home when they reportedly heard a strange male voice. No, this wasn't a nightmare. Yet it was.

For the voice was coming from their little baby's room.

The Schrecks had reportedly equipped their house with a wireless IP camera, which they monitored from their cell phones. When Heather Schreck woke up, she saw that the camera in her baby's room was moving. But it wasn't baby who was moving it.

As Fox 19 reported last week,, Screck heard the voice shouting: "Wake up, baby! Wake up, baby!"

Her husband Adam went into baby Emma's room. He told Fox 19: "Then it screamed at me. Some bad things, some obscenities. So I unplugged the camera."

Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

What became quickly clear is that their Foscam camera had been hacked. Adam Schreck unplugged the camera. Foscam had been aware that there might be a security issue with the camera, but the Schrecks hadn't made the update.

Indeed, a similar incident happened last year to a family in Houston, also with a Foscam camera. Which isn't to suggest that every such device, whatever the brand, isn't vulnerable to some extent.

The problem with updates is that relatively few people register their cameras, which means that Foscam doesn't know where to send the warning.

The churlish would suggest they just hack the cameras and shout into them.

Certainly, there's a need for regular password changes and ensuring that camera and Wi-Fi passwords are different.

However, I'm even more concerned about what sort of human being would want to frighten a baby -- and her family -- in the middle of the night.

In this case, there's no suggestion that the perpetrator was ever caught. No one seems to know where he was or even which country he might be in.

But to find it amusing (as this person surely must have) takes a certain sort of mentality, one that has more than a touch of charmlessness at its core.

There's a certain sadness that the Shrecks won't be able to stare this man in the face and perhaps have the opportunity to frighten him with, say, a jail sentence.


 

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