This Is How Creeps Hack Your Baby Monitor
There are actually two ways for criminals to hack your baby monitor, depending on what kind of setup you have.
Intercom Baby Monitors
If you have an old-school analog baby monitor, a perv can hijack your frequency like it’s a CB or a walkie-talkie. Then he can do whatever he wants. Growl. Curse. Tell scary stories. These guys are seriously demented. But the “dumbness” of your old-fashioned baby monitor is also its saving grace. The older-tech equipment requires a degree from Radio Shack and parts you might need to mail order these days.
Second, pervs who hijack baby monitors this way will need to be nearby. The range on these devices isn’t great. How close? Hiding in your bushes close, which isn’t generally the kind of risk a schlub who growls at babies wants to take. For that reason — and because the next type of monitor is a lot more popular these days — you’re far more likely to run across this next type of creep.
Internet-Enabled Baby Monitors
The alternative to an analog baby monitor is an internet-enabled baby monitor with an IP camera, or any quality home security camera like the Wyze Cam 2 or 3, paired with an audio monitor. (Most cameras won’t pick up background audio, even if they have two-way audio.) These devices all use Wi-Fi to beam video and audio coverage of your infant back to your smartphones — wherever you happen to be.
Convenient? Sure. But in exchange for that convenience, you’re indirectly opening up your baby’s room to the World Wide Web and all the sickos, trolls, and dark web grifters out to get their paws on our little ones.
The web-savvy creepsauce has multiple avenues of attack. Without getting overly technical, he can hack your Wi-Fi network, or he can hack into a particular Wi-Fi-enabled device. It doesn’t really matter what device because once a hacker slips inside your network, he has carte blanche on any gadget in your home communicating over Wi-Fi, baby monitors included.
Unless you’re using a network password like 1234, the first option may be a tall order. Most predators know they’re not going to breeze past a strong password and a router using WPA2 or WPA3 encryption, so they opt for an easier route: hacking our devices.
Cheapo smart products are notorious for buggy software and vulnerable firmware that any perv with intermediate hacking skills can exploit. Even if you’ve got a high-end product with the security to match, and you don’t reset the password, any scuzz can scan your network, zero in on the default port for your baby monitor (this info is usually available online), punch in the default username and password, and, bingo, they’re in.
Did You Know? Some non-Wi-Fi baby monitors like the VTech VM321 use frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) technology that switches frequencies by the millisecond, rendering them virtually hack-proof.