HOUSTON – One-year-old Samantha is Carolyn and Rick's pride and joy. So you can imagine how terrified they must have been when their nanny told them she heard a strange man's voice coming from the Foscam security camera while she was changing Sam's diaper.
"Somebody started talking to her, saying, 'Oh, that's a beautiful baby. That's a really stinky diaper.' It was just really, really creepy," Carolyn said.
It was clear someone had hacked into the couple's baby cam and was secretly watching them. Carolyn and Rick use it to check on Sam while they're not home. It's not password-protected even though the Wi-Fi network it's attached to is.
High-tech crime investigators say that's the problem. "The take-away is follow the manual's instructions on how to set up the password for your camera. Make sure you have the latest and greatest firmware on the camera. The manufacturer of the camera will tell you how to do that," said Lt. Gary Spurger, with Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office.
What's most alarming, Spurger says, is that the hacker may have been close, anywhere from 300 to 500 feet from the home. "Obviously your child is the number one thing you want to protect and just the thought that somebody is watching her, potentially even when she is sleeping.
It was just overall really creepy," Carolyn said. Carolyn is urging other moms and parents out there not to make the same mistake she and her husband did.
"There are things you can do to prevent this from happening," Carolyn said. The couple has a relative in IT security who has already walked them through the steps they need to take to make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen again.