Shocking, Earth-shattering news out of the Cincinnati area: if you hook something up to the Internet and don’t take steps to make sure it’s properly password-protected, people might try to hack into it.
OK, sarcasm button switched to “off” for a minute because this is sort of creepy. As Cincinnati’s FOX19 reported in one of their “Investigative Reports” segments, proud parent Heather Schreck was sleeping soundly beside her husband, Adam, when she woke to the sound of a man’s voice, coming from inside her baby’s bedroom.
Heather heard the man repeatedly saying “wake up, baby” and then yelling, as if he was trying to walk the child up. Frightened (and with good reason), Heather woke up Adam, who ran into their child’s room. Finding no one in the room (other than his baby), Adam was confused. That is, until he noticed that the baby monitor/camera was now turning to face him, apparently on its own. At that point, a man’s voice started yelling at Adam through the camera. It was then Adam realized that someone had hacked into their baby monitor/camera.
Like I said, that’s pretty creepy stuff and it would have freaked me out. But here’s the thing: the Schrecks are using a wireless system that can be accessed remotely from the Internet via everything from cell phones to other computers. So why weren’t they taking steps to prevent such things like, I dunno, maybe password-protecting it? Seems like common sense to me: if you can access something on the Internet, they other people can, too, so it needs a password. Hardly something that merits an “investigative report”.
Or maybe not. Because when the FOX19 crew introduced the segment, the story so enraged anchor Tricia Macke that she could barely contain herself, gesturing wildly and yelling at the camera. All the while, fellow anchor Scott Schneider could only sit idly by and shake his head in disgust.
I also have to wonder about just how much of an “investigation” this is. Seems to me, news reports like to throw around the term, when all they are really doing is reporting on things. Of course, I do have to give FOX19 a little bit of credit. They did set up a whole bunch of these baby monitors around their studio and created a wall of video screens to make things look all hi-tech and fancy.
Of course, the hardest-hitting portion of this investigation comes at the end, when Investigative Reporter Amy Wagner, shown above in front of all that technology, proclaims that they don’t know the identity or location of the perpetrator, adding that the hacker “could have been in Africa”. Spooky stuff, those hackers in Africa.
You can read the Fox19 report in its entirety by going here. There’s even a video link to their “investigation”, which includes a dramatic sepia-toned reenactment of what happened when Adam Schreck stumbled into his daughter’s room to do a little investigating of his own. You can tell its a dramatic re-enactment because nothing says “drama” like something shot in sepia tone from weird angles.