Mom recalls 'scary experience' after stranger hacks baby monitor, screams at infant
Andrea Janus, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:50AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 29, 2014 2:34PM EDT
An Ohio mom and dad who thought their baby monitor was a secure way to keep an eye on their 10-month-old daughter until they woke up to the sound of a man screaming inside her nursery a few weeks ago.
It turns out someone, somewhere had hacked into the Internet-based monitor and was screaming at their daughter in an attempt to wake her up.
Heather Schreck woke around midnight a few weeks ago to a strange sound and grabbed her cellphone to check the monitor. That’s when she heard a man’s voice yelling, “Wake up baby, wake up baby,” followed by a long scream.
Schreck’s husband ran into the nursery, at which point the monitor turned toward him and the man’s voice began yelling obscenities.
They unplugged the monitor, searched the house for signs of a break-in and soothed their daughter, Emma, back to sleep.
They considered contacting the police, but learned that any data was wiped clean after the monitor was unplugged, making it impossible to track the hacker.
Schreck said she and her husband always thought the camera was secure because their WiFi is password protected.
“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,” Schreck told CTVNews.ca in a telephone interview.
“So I have no way of knowing if he’s done it before, how often, listened in on conversations between my husband and I in the house. (It’s) just a real sense of violation that someone just walked into our life and didn’t even know it.”
Schreck has since reinstalled the monitor because she wants to be able to keep an eye on her daughter and not have to walk into the nursery and risk waking her up.
But she and her husband have committed to changing all of their passwords regularly and watching for signs of another breach.
“We’re keeping a close eye on Internet security, for sure,” Schreck says.
Baby Emma appears to have suffered no ill effects from the incident, she says. However, she wants to warn parents that such an incident could leave a mark on older children.
“Luckily our daughter was 10 months old at the time of the incident and she doesn’t remember it,” Schreck says. “But if she had been older, I think she could have had lasting effects from it. It was a scary experience.”