Ring security camera hacker speaks to 8-year-old girl through device, unnerving Mississippi family

DESOTO COUNTY, Mississippi (KABC) -- Ring security cameras were designed to keep homeowners feeling safe, but one Mississippi family felt anything but when a hacker tapped into their system.

Ashley Lemay had placed a camera inside her child's bedroom until she discovered that someone was talking to her little girl.

"I'm your best friend. I'm Santa Claus. Don't you want to be my best friend?" the voice said over the camera speaker.

Lemay said she bought the camera on Black Friday and set it up as an extra bit of security to keep an eye on her three daughters.

"I watched the video and my heart...I didn't even get to the end where she's screaming, 'mommy,'" said Lemay.

Lemay wonders how long the person was looking at her daughter and whether they were planning to befriend her or try to meet up with her.

"They could watch them sleeping. They could've watch them changing. They could've seen all kinds of things. Honestly, I feel it's either someone who knows us or somebody who lives close by," Lemay said.

There was a similar case in Georgia where a woman had a camera in her bedroom. She was going to sleep when someone started talking to her.

"I can see you in the bed. Come on. Wake the **** up," the voice could be heard saying.

In another case, a hacker asks for money in bitcoin.

"Pay 50 bitcoin ransom or else you will get terminated yourself right now," the voice said.

According to security expert Jim McDonnell anything that can be accessed remotely can be hacked remotely.

"Encryption is the key. Systems that allow you to access smart devices through a third-party app are more vulnerable. Strong passwords are critical," he said.

Security experts said you have to secure your Wi-Fi network and your passwords.

Ring issued the following statement:
"...we have no evidence of an unauthorized intrusion or compromise of Ring's systems or network. Unfortunately, when the same username and password is reused on multiple services, it's possible for bad actors to gain access to many accounts."

It's recommended people use different passwords for each account and create strong passwords that would be difficult for someone to figure out.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the Lemay family as residents of Studio City. They live in Mississippi.
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