Smart home products designed by Nest such as smart cameras, smart displays, smart thermostats, and smart doorbells to make our lives more comfortable and safe, may not be all that safe according to a horrifying incident reported by a Milwaukee, Wisconsin based couple, Samantha and Lamont Westmoreland.
After a hacker hacked into the couple’s home and took control of their gadgets, Samantha said, “It’s (installation of gadgets) supposed to make me feel safe, and I didn’t feel safe”, “My heart was racing, I felt so violated at that point.”
As per a report by Fox 6 News, on September 17th, Samantha returned home in which she has Nest camera, a doorbell and a thermostat installed, and found the atmosphere unreasonably warmer, she immediately noticed that her smart thermostat has risen up to 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit).
Initially, she assumed it to be a glitch and set it back to the room temperature, but it kept on going up after every time she turned it down. A while later, the couple heard a voice talking to them from their Nest camera and afterward it played vulgar music. Samantha went ahead, unplugged the camera and turned it to face the ceiling. They changed the passwords of all the three devices but as the issues persisted, they resorted to contacting their internet service provider to have their network and Ids reset.
The couple was of the opinion that their Wi-Fi network and Nest camera was hacked, putting the actual problem into perspective, Lamont Westmoreland said, “If someone hacks into your Wi-Fi, they shouldn’t be able to have access to those Nest devices without some sort of wall they have to get over,”
In a conversation with Fox 6 News, the couple revealed that the smart home accessories they had installed at their home since last year, cost them $700, and that they have never faced any problem before this; however, in the wake of this terrifying incident they had a change of mind regarding smart home devices.
Meanwhile, responding to the disturbing experience, a spokesperson of Google, told a media outlet, “Nest was not breached. These reports are based on customers using compromised passwords. In nearly all cases, two-factor verification eliminates this type of security risk,”