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Hackers Targeting Smart Homes

FILE - In this May 9, 2018, file photo a second generation Echo that controls the blinds as well as televisions and lighting at an Amazon Experience Centers model home in Dallas, Texas. Many of these internet-connected speaker devices listen constantly for commands and connect to corporate servers to carry them out. Typically, they will ignore private chatter and transmit sound recordings only when you trigger the device, such as by pressing a button or speaking a command phrase like "OK Google. Some gadgets also have a mute button to disable the microphones completely. But there's no easy way for consumers to verify those safeguards. (Nathan Hunsinger/The Dallas Morning News via AP, File)
FILE - In this May 9, 2018, file photo a second generation Echo that controls the blinds as well as televisions and lighting at an Amazon Experience Centers model home in Dallas, Texas. Many of these internet-connected speaker devices listen constantly for commands and connect to corporate servers to carry them out. Typically, they will ignore private chatter and transmit sound recordings only when you trigger the device, such as by pressing a button or speaking a command phrase like "OK Google. Some gadgets also have a mute button to disable the microphones completely. But there's no easy way for consumers to verify those safeguards. (Nathan Hunsinger/The Dallas Morning News via AP, File) (The Dallas Morning News)

No matter where you go these days, more and more people are going “high tech” inside their homes. But experts say the smarter the home, the easier the target is for hackers.

There’s no question devices like Alexa, Ring, and Google Home can make people’s lives easier in this digital world - who doesn’t want to talk to their refrigerator or lock their doors from anywhere. But the growing popularity of these devices is exposing new vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. As Tom Kellerman, head cybersecurity strategist at VMWare Carbon Black puts it, "that shiny, perfectly packaged gadget you’re taking home or purchasing for a friend or loved one could actually be a secret passage into your home.”

In a recent privacy breach, Kellerman says a Milwaukee couple came home and found their thermostat turned to 90 degrees and a voice talking to them through the speakers. In another breach, someone hacked into ring security camera in a little girl’s room in Memphis and started talking to her.

Monday night on Channel 2 News at 6pm, we’ll show you the smart home devices most at risk for hacking and what you can do to protect yourself and your family.