- A Northern California family experienced “five minutes of sheer terror” after their Nest surveillance camera was hacked, warning them of a North Korea missile attack, according to The Mercury News.
- The camera rang out the detailed message: “North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles headed to Los Angeles, Chicago and Ohio,” though the family saw no such warning on television.
- It is not the first time Nest products have been susceptible to hacks. In December, a hacker took control of one couple’s camera and announced he was in their child’s room.
One Northern California family was thrown into a panic when their Nest surveillance camera began blaring out a detailed message about North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles headed to three metropolitan US cities, according to the Mercury News.
“It warned that the United States had retaliated against Pyongyang and that people in the affected areas had three hours to evacuate,” Laura Lyons told the Bay Area newspaper on Monday. “It sounded completely legit, and it was loud and got our attention right off the bat. It was five minutes of sheer terror and another 30 minutes trying to figure out what was going on.”
Lyons and her husband found no such warning when they turned on the television or when they called 911. Their 8-year-old son, however, was so scared that he hid underneath the rug.
After a phone call to Nest customer service, Lyons and her husband learned they were victims of an increasingly common hack – so common, in fact, that just last month, another couple ran to their child’s bedroom after they heard a message saying “I’m in your baby’s room,” according to NBC News.
One hacker even made it his mission to tell Nest owners just how unsecure their product was by broadcasting his voice to between five and 10 home security cameras.
A spokesperson for Nest told Business Insider in a statement: “Nest was not breached. These recent reports are based on customers using compromised passwords (exposed through breaches on other websites). In nearly all cases, two-factor verification eliminates this type of the security risk. We take security in the home extremely seriously, and we’re actively introducing features that will reject comprised passwords, allow customers to monitor access to their accounts and track external entities that abuse credentials.”
Nest marks a variety of smart home products, including security cameras and thermostats. The startup, founded by Tony Fadell, was bought by Google for $3.2 billion in 2014. It was later a standalone company when Google reorganized to Alphabet in 2015, then was folded back into Google’s hardware division early last year.