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Family says hackers accessed Ring camera in 8-year-old girl's room, taunted her

Mississippi family says hackers accessed Ring camera in 8-year-old girl's room (Photo: Ashley LeMay)
Mississippi family says hackers accessed Ring camera in 8-year-old girl's room (Photo: Ashley LeMay)
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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WZTV) -- A family wants to warn others after an alarming video was discovered from inside their 8-year-old daughter's room.

Ashley LeMay shared the video with FOX 17 News and says hackers gained access to a Ring video camera that had only been in her daughter's room for a few days.

The story is a horrifying one for families, as what was supposed to add more protection for a child turned into a scary situation. LeMay said that her 8-year-old daughter Alyssa started hearing strange noises coming from her room, leading to her scream, "Mommy, mommy!"

LeMay said the camera was a way to keep an eye on her three daughters and stay close while working night shifts as a nurse.

Upon reviewing the video, the family made the alarming discovery. They said a man had been watching their daughter in her room. They say a "mysterious voice" taunted their daughter with music and "destructive behavior."

In video shared with FOX 17 News, the person on the other end of the Ring video can be heard telling the girl to say a racial slur, over and over. "Go tell mommy you're a [expletive]." The man says, "I'm your best friend."

The girl looks out her bedroom window and says, "What? I can't hear you."

When the girl asks, "Who is that?" a voice can be heard saying, "I'm your best friend, you can do whatever you want right now. You can mess up your room, you can break your TV, you can do whatever you want. C'mon, can you say the magic word?"

Unaware of where the voice in her room is coming from, she asks again, "Who is that?" The voice replies, "I'm your best friend, I'm Santa Claus."

Then she starts yelling for her mother and tells the voice she doesn't know who he is.

"I'm Santa Claus," the voice says. "Don't you want to be my best friend?"

It was finally stopped when the child's father entered the room, but LeMay says there's no telling what the mysterious person may have seen.

"My daughter could've been changing in her room...It did not take them long at all to figure this out," LeMay said of the hacker. "Even the doorbell, they can hear what you're saying. In our case, we were going out of the country and this happened the night before we were leaving and we're left thinking, 'what did he hear?' He has access to all of our videos now."

LeMay said she did not set up two-factor authentication, which Ring says helps to add another level of protection. The video camera has since been disconnected and the family said they have taken more steps for security.

LeMay says what was so scary to her is that she had sworn off WiFi cameras and had only had these cameras for four days, had a secure network and a different passwords for everything.

"If the two-authentication factor is so important, why is it not required?," the family is now questioning.

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Ring says it has investigated the incident and security is their top priority. Here's Ring's full statement:

Customer trust is important to us and we take the security of our devices seriously. While we are still investigating this issue and are taking appropriate steps to protect our devices based on our investigation, we are able to confirm this incident is in no way related to a breach or compromise of Ring’s security.
Due to the fact that customers often use the same username and password for their various accounts and subscriptions, bad actors often re-use credentials stolen or leaked from one service on other services. As a precaution, we highly and openly encourage all Ring users to enable two-factor authentication on their Ring account, add Shared Users (instead of sharing login credentials), use strong passwords, and regularly change their passwords.
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