Now, I have been using Ring Video Doorbell for more than 3 months but there is one thing that always makes me worried. Is it possible that my video doorbell is hacked? Therefore, I did some deep research which I am sharing with you all.
Can a Ring Video Doorbell be hacked? There have been several incidents that show that people were able to access video even if the username and password were changed. However, if you are at an open Wi-Fi, there are always chances of being hacked.
The above answer may not really satisfy you but you don’t have to worry as I will be providing answers to all of your queries below. The questions like what preventive measures should be taken to avoid any hack, what has been reported till now, what actions have been taken by Amazon, all are answered below.
The Big Boss
Who doesn’t want to have a system by which we can see “who is at the door”. Almost everyone and therefore, people were excited when a brand like Amazon bought Ring (previously known as Doorbot) from Jamie.
But if you have given your ring device username and password to another person then you are in deep trouble. They can access your videos even now. They can even keep an eye on you whenever the motion sensor triggers something.
So if you are just trying to be safe and relax at your home then you would definitely find it annoying as someone still can see you and peep into your life. However, it is not as same as reality TV but can still that you would not like.
This was found for the first time in May 2018. But still, this problem is not sorted out fully. Amazon tried to fix it and even updated Ring firmware.
Amazon faced the issue and updated their Ring App so that the people having prior access cannot use the old password. According to them, they did this 3 months before the actual incident.
However, for better security Amazon also said that instead of providing credentials to others it’s better to use a shared feature on App.
When we talk about IoT-enabled smart devices then Ring is not the only device that has gone through such problems but other devices have also been hacked a lot of times. This is just a coincidence that Ring got more limelight.
How it all started?
Before Jan. 2016, everything was fine and people were using Ring Video Doorbells without concerning much about hacks. But after the publication of this article on CNET, everything got changed.
The post showed that there is something that is happening in Ring video doorbells and people can peep into their private life. This article shows how Pen Test Partners, a potential network security vulnerabilities company, found a security flaw in Ring Doorbell.
Amazon was already addressed about this flaw but the testers from Pen showed how easy it was for hackers to have access to the other Wi-Fi using devices and the network itself.
They even demonstrated and showed step by step procedure and the flaws which were making Ring Doorbell vulnerable. From this day onwards, Ring has always been in used for being hacked.
It was so easy at that time that they just by pressing a button that was there behind the Ring doorbell they can have access to the network. This could have been done by using a simple smartphone.
Sharing data with china
This was the second time when people come to know that some of the information was being sent to China by the Ring doorbells. This news grabbed everyone’s attention and started being viral on the internet.
You can still find it on Reddit-
So recently installed a ring doorbell and found some interesting network traffic. At random intervals, it seems to be sending a UDP/1 packet to 22.214.171.124 (China). All other traffic goes to AWS. Anyone have any thoughts to IoT devices calling back to China?
After this concern was raised, people pointed out the post on Reddit about what’s happening. But there is no news from Amazon after this. Whether this issue has been resolved or not, nobody knows!!
Still Watching you, baby
This is another issue from Jesus Echezarreta which points out what we talked about above that even after changing passwords people can have access to the Ring devices.
Echezarreta is from Miami. He said that after breaking up from his boyfriend he changed the passwords of the Ring Smart doorbell 2 times. But still, his ex-boyfriend was able to take out the video from the home security device.
He came to know this when his ex-boyfriend called him and said that he needed to walk his a little more. Echezarreta got surprised how he can still watch into my life and then the problem came out to be from Ring Doorbell.
Ring came to know about the problem and send a new device to Echezarreta. Nice compensation from Ring but this couldn’t abort the risk of being seen by them whom we do not want in our life.
People got annoyed by the fact that a person can look into their private life that what they are doing and with who.
According to Amazon, the password gets changed within an hour and it could not take place instantly as it can hamper other works.
It’s a nice approach from Amazon to link its services to Ring Doorbell so that in case of any delivery the delivery person can come and leave a package at your door. But this doesn’t look like happening real soon after these hacks issues.
How to prevent hacking?
The thing that I have learned from these articles and my research is that Ring Video Doorbell is hacked because of the wireless Wi-Fi networks. The wireless network is making Ring Vulnerable to hacks and leaving an open loop for hackers.
But this can be stopped. I have pointed out some solutions that can help you get rid of the future threat of being hacked.
Always look for products from a well-renowned company having good reviews. Apart from this buy the product which uses encryption. This makes a little difficult for hackers to get into your device.
You can use Network security product from Dojo, it’s the same company that pointed out the flaw in the security system of Ring. So using network security and smart privacy solution you can make your Ring Video Doorbell non-vulnerable to hacks.
Don’t use those applications that have a customization feature. These features create a loophole for hackers to get it.
Always keep your applications up to date. Update your device software as soon as it comes to you from the manufacture. The updated software would make your device less vulnerable to hackers.
One of the big flaws that we saw that hackers could be able to detach your doorbell and press a button behind your Ring Video Doorbell to get into your Wi-Fi network and hack the device. Buy a device that can’t be detached easily and require a lot of effort.
Use a strong password for your device. Most of the devices come with a default password of “1234” or “0000”. Change this as soon as you get the device. Use a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols so that your device remains secure.
Install a firewall for protection against Malware. Your device uses the internet connection, so there is always a chance that it becomes receptive to malware. Installing a firewall on your home network can save you from such vulnerability.
Basically, if you are planning to make your home a smart home then be sure to take the necessary steps so that you do not get hacked. Even if somebody tries you get to know.
How to know if my device is hacked?
So, if you have ever experienced any of the above incidents then it might be too late. But still, here are some of the things which can help you find out whether your device is hacked or not. This is helpful to other devices too.
- Start with checking the data flow of the security camera.
- Check security settings, if it’s ok or getting changed.
- Keep an eye on the movement of the security cameras.
- Look out for the blinking LED light.
- Pay attention to the illuminated LED lights.
- Check for abnormal noises from the camera.
Check the flow data from your camera. See how and where your video is going. The same thing happened with the guy in the Reddit post and he pointed out that it was going to China.
Look for the changes in security settings. It is obvious that if it got hacked then the hackers with customizing the changes according to their ease.
If you ever noticed that your security cameras are following you or recording all your movements. It’s possible that it has been hacked and they are keeping an eye on you. Report it immediately as they could be planning something big.
The blinking lights are on the cameras. See if they are blinking normally or not. In the case of being hacked, they start blinking rapidly.
You can see our article here where we have pointed out some of the problems that lead to white light flashing on Ring Doorbell.
You would have seen in some of the horror movies you get to come across some scary noise from the baby monitor. The same thing happens with your camera when it is hacked. You would come across some abnormal noises coming out from it.
How My Ring Video doorbell can be hacked?
There are two ways in which a security camera can be hacked. The first one is Locally and the second one is Remote.
Locally means coming closer to your home and getting into your Wi-Fi and then figuring out the password. Sometimes they even use the signal jammer which makes figuring out the password even easier.
You must use a secured Wi-Fi if your device works on it. Using a WPN secured port lowers the chance of being hacked.
Remote hacking is done if your data is streaming online. Whenever a data breach happens, a loophole gets created and thereby hacking security cameras becomes easier. This can even be done with a wired camera.
Last but not the Least-Things to worry about
You would be relieved after going through this article and can take the necessary steps to secure your cameras from being hacked. But, if your child has a toy that requires Wi-Fi then you must follow the required security steps.
You must go through this article and know how a toy was responsible for the identity theft of 1 million people. Even, smart TVs were used as a listening device. So, if you are being connected to the internet then you must have a Firewall to keep hackers away.
Being safe is always better than being sorry. Use precautions for everything that you use in your home. You can use it for Ring stand Up cams and even with Ring Floodlight.
We have provided almost and every bit of necessary information that you needed for a safe home. But if you have been hacked then the best thing is to contact the manufacturer. Once they know it, they would take the necessary steps ASAP.
What to do if my ring Doorbell gets stolen? Don’t worry, if your Ring Doorbell gets stolen. Ring will send you a new doorbell as a replacement which would be free of cost. This is the good thing about the company. However, you should not think about your doorbell being stolen.
Is it possible to use Ring Doorbell without Wi-Fi? No, Ring Video Doorbell doesn’t work without Wi-Fi. However, there are other companies that provide cameras that work with cellular data, either 4G or LTE. You can just use a good WPN for protection from any hack.
Can NEST Doorbell be hacked? Yes, there are several times when Nest got hacked. Check this article to know how Nest was hacked and the hacked played vulgar music and raised the temperature of the house to 90 degrees. Ring is not the only smart home safety gadget that is combating hackers.