Family concerned after hacker accesses baby monitor

By Phil Archer - Reporter

HOUSTON - A nanny says a man hacked into the baby monitor of the child she was caring for and talked about what she was doing inside the house Monday.

Ashley Stanley is a professional nanny who spends most days with 1-year-old Samantha. Monday morning they were joined in the baby's bedroom by an anonymous, uninvited third party.

Stanley was changing Samantha's diaper when she noticed it.

"I kept hearing this strange noise from over there by the crib," she said.

What Stanley heard was a man's voice coming from the security camera in Samantha's bedroom.

Before long, the voice started talking to her, making it clear someone was watching her and the baby.

"They kept telling me that it's a cute baby and 'wow that is a poopy diaper,'" Stanley said. "I was like, 'My goodness, are they watching me like right now?"

The camera is a safety precaution that allows Samantha's parents to check in on the baby from work using their cellphones. But someone managed to hack the system and access the camera. The camera can be controlled remotely to survey the entire room, even down the hallway into other parts of the house.

The camera is not password-protected but the home Wi-Fi network it is attached to is.

Veteran defense attorney Kent Schaffer says that likely makes it a federal crime.

"It's unlawful interception of electronic communication," Schaffer said. "State and federal governments have criminal sanctions for that."

It is not clear if the hacker will be identified, but Stanley and Samantha's parents aren't planning to give him another chance.

"We unplugged it and I'm afraid to plug it back in," Stanley said.

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