A mother of three from Houston, Texas, installed surveillance cameras throughout her house four years ago to keep her daughters safe. Now the woman — who asked only to be identified by her first name, Jennifer — is issuing a warning to other parents after discovering strangers had been viewing footage of her 8-year-old twins’ bedroom through a livestreaming app.
“We have security cameras to protect them,” Jennifer told ABC News on Thursday, August 10. “I feel like I’ve failed. People are watching my kids in their home, dressing, sleeping, playing.”
The livestream had been running since July 27 and had 571 likes.
Jennifer learned about the violation after Shelby Ivie, a mother of two from Oregon, posted a picture of the girls’ pink room to a Facebook group for Houston parents.
Ivie told ABC News that she and her son were looking at satellite images of Earth online when she came across the free app Live Camera Viewer and downloaded it to her phone. As Ivie was scrolling through pictures, she noticed a livestream of a child’s bedroom with the location listed at the top of the page. That’s when a horrified Ivie created a Facebook post and began sharing it on local news pages and in mom groups in hopes of tracking down the parents.
Security experts told Jennifer that the hackers likely uncovered the family’s IP address when one of her 8-year-old daughter’s was playing an online video game and were then able to take control of the cameras through the modem and DVR system.
Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity, tells Us Weekly nanny cams are hacked for a variety of reasons including faulty manufacturing. “To protect yourself, change any default password to something more secure,” he tells Us. “Go to the manufacturers website and update any software or firmware to the latest version. And make sure your WiFi is password-protected and encrypted.”
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