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It was an unremarkable Wednesday afternoon when our nanny texted my wife and me asking if we were speaking through one of the Nest cameras in our house. We both replied that we were not.
Then the nanny texted that a voice was coming through the kitchen camera and using bad words.
Video - Feed
I immediately pulled up the video feed and began reviewing:
I hear the familiar chime, which means someone is about to talk through the camera. Then, to my horror, a female voice that I don’t recognize starts talking to my 18-month-old son. He looks around the room and then at the ceiling, wondering who’s there.
Heart - Chest - Blood - Rushes - Face
It feels as though my heart is about to beat through my chest. The blood rushes to my face. I am completely helpless.
The voice is laughing when it chimes in. She says we have a nice house and encourages the nanny to respond. She does not. The voice even jokes that she hopes we don’t change our password. I am sick to my stomach.
Minutes - Joy - Riding - Voice - Nanny
After about five minutes of verbal “joy riding,” the voice starts to get agitated at the nanny’s lack of response and then snaps, in a very threatening voice: “I’m coming for the baby if you don’t answer me, ****!”
My jaw drops.
Cameras - Passwords - Nanny - Son - Park
We unplug the cameras and change all passwords. The nanny has taken our son to the park down the street in an effort to escape. However, the damage has been done.
Still helpless, I started doing the only thing I could do — Googling. I typed “Nest + camera + hacked” and found out that this happens frequently. Parent after parent relayed stories similar to mine — threatening to steal a baby is shockingly common — and some much worse, such as playing pornography over the microphone to a 3-year-old.
I dived deeper to find out...
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