The following news item from the US reminds us that sexual predators exist in our reality. Some of them use the web to target and molest children. Connecting devices like video baby monitors to the web is, therefore, a terrible idea.
The present plan for the ‘Smart Grid’ – where all appliances (not just baby monitors) are connected to the web and usage data is relayed wirelessly to third parties – will introduce billions (if not trillions) of new threat vectors to the internet for hackers and predatory paedophiles to exploit.
Via one or more wireless Smart Meters in your home, sensitive data about your energy, appliance and device usage will be broadcast to anyone capable of intercepting the signal. Whilst not all appliances and devices have cameras, microphones or speakers, they do all have the capability to reveal sensitive personal information about you and your family’s behaviour at home.
What time of the day do children’s devices such as a child’s first CD player or games console typically get used? For how long? When are children’s TV programmes usually watched? What programmes are watched most often? How often are both parents are home? Are the children ever left alone? How long for? What time do they usually leave or arrive home? Do they ever take their electronic devices to other kids’ houses? How far away do they live?
Data points like these help to build a picture of your family’s private life at home. With Smart Meters, this information is collected every minute and broadcast to your energy provider. If your power company can collect, model, profile and exploit this information, deviants like the guy featured below can. It is just a question of how and when.
It was a terrifying experience for the parents of two young children after their baby monitor was hacked. What the hacker did next is even more disturbing.
The story has a creepy factor. The father in northwest Harris County says he and his wife heard a detached voiced saying sexual things to their two-year-old daughter and it was coming from her room.
For two years, Marc Gilbert and his wife have come to rely on their Internet cameras.
“We almost couldn’t live without it,” he said.
With them, they could watch their two toddlers in their rooms. But over the weekend, someone else was watching, too.
“It felt like somebody broke into our house,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert says he first heard a voice from down the hall. As he and his wife got closer, what it was saying got worse.
“He said, ‘Wake up Allyson, you little (expletive),'” Gilbert said.
And soon he knew it was coming from the camera.
“I see the camera move on us,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert immediately pulled the plug and started doing research. He believes someone hacked his router as well as the camera. The person could see Allyson’s name on the bedroom wall to call her by it.
He now wants to warn parents about the danger.