'Eerie' music, man's voice creeps into nursery after baby monitor hacked
Josh Dehaas, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, July 23, 2015 6:46AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 23, 2015 7:45PM EDT
Police are warning owners of high-tech baby monitors to be cautious after a hacker took control of the camera on an Ontario couple’s monitor, just as they were putting their two-year-old son to bed.
The boy’s father told CTV London he was reading a bedtime story when he heard a noise coming from the camera, which he had mounted near the ceiling of his son’s nursery so that he could watch him remotely through a smartphone application.
“I get up closer to the camera with my son in my arms and I hear eerie music,” he said.
After that, he said, a male voice uttered something that sounded like “as he rocks his son to sleep.”
“At that point, I took my son and went to the other room where my wife was,” he added. “I said somebody hacked our camera, somebody’s watching us.”
When the couple returned to the nursery, the camera panned over in their direction, he said. “I just jumped up and unplugged it.”
“It was pretty unnerving to know someone had gained access to that and to not know how long they were watching,” he added. “They could have been doing this for months.”
The father, who did not want his name shared publicly, assumes it was a prank. “I have some comfort in the fact that, if it was somebody who really wanted to watch, they likely wouldn’t have said a word.”
Middlesex County OPP Const. Liz Melvin called it a “disturbing incident” and warned the public Thursday to beware of the risk that strangers may be watching surreptitiously through Internet-connected cameras.
Melvin said the OPP will consider charges of mischief or harassment if the hacker is caught, but that the crime may have been instigated in another country, which would make it difficult to catch and convict the culprit.
The father said his Internet service provider was unable to confirm that his baby monitor was hacked, but that his router stopped working shortly after the incident.
The father said he had high-quality passwords on both the router and the camera.
The reason the man contacted police, he said, was to see if anyone else in the area had reported anything similar.
Const. Melvin said there have been no other such reports.
However, at least two similar incidents have been reported south of the border, including one in Texas in 2013 and one in Ohio in 2014.
In the Ohio incident, a mom and dad were awakened by the sound of a man screaming, shouting obscenities and yelling “Wake up baby, wake up baby,” through their baby monitor.
“What scares me even more is that if this person hadn’t been screaming at my daughter I would not have known that he was even looking at her,” mother Heather Schreck told CTVNews.ca at the time.
With files from The Canadian Press and CTV London