A mother is warning other parents to watch out after discovering her security camera was hacked to spy on her twin daughters.
The strange and shocking tale began last weekend, when a mother from Oregon was looking at satellite videos of earth with her young children. On the same website, Live Camera Viewer, she came across something disturbing.
A bedroom belonging to a pair of 8-year-old twin girls was being streamed live on the internet. The video details said the camera was from Houston, Texas, it had been broadcasting online since July and it had been "liked" by 571 strangers.
The mother, Shelby Ivie, didn't waste any time trying to track down the little girls' parents. "I basically spent my entire Sunday at home sharing it to every Houston page I could think of," she told ABC. "I shared it on several news sites. I shared it a bunch of Houston-moms Texas groups in hopes that social media would take it from there."
4,000 shares and just a few hours later, her post helped track down the mother of the twins, who wants to be identified only as "Jennifer" to protect her family's privacy. Needless to say, she was horrified by the news.
"I happened to get a text from a friend of mine that said she saw a picture on Facebook and she thought it was a picture of our daughters' room," she said. "They're in my house. People are watching my kids in their home, dressing, sleeping, playing,"
How did this happen? And how can you protect your children from something like this?
Jennifer contacted a security company, who discovered that one of the twins accidentally made the camera vulnerable to hackers.
While playing the video game Minecraft, the little girl shared information about her computer server online, which let hackers control the security camera using the same server.
The scariest part of all is Jennifer's daughter had no idea what a server even was until she watched YouTube videos explaining the technology. Jennifer warns parents their children could be putting themselves in danger without realizing it.
"From what I understand, there are tons of unprotected servers out there these kids are going on and basically people are waiting for them," she said.
To keep your kids safe, you should change the password for your webcam or security camera, because hackers target lazy users who keep the default password.
Also, cover any cameras on your computer or laptop when you're not using it. Hackers can disable the small light that shines when it's turned on, so you would never know they're spying until it's too late.
Now that Jennifer knows better, she warns other moms to "always watch to see what your kids are doing. My kids are now unfortunately no longer to be on the internet," she said. "Because I just can't chance it again."
Share her warning with every parent you know!
[H/T: ABC 13]