John Baker Orange from Alabama is suing Amazon’s Ring security company following alleged hacking incidents.
Orange purchased an internet-connected Ring security camera in July 2019. Following the installation, everything appeared to be on the up and up. However, Orange claims that in recent weeks, the device was hacked and used to harass his three children.
As reported by The Guardian, the lawsuit claims that Oranges children, aged seven, nine and ten, received messages through the camera from an unknown person. Per The Guardian‘s source, the lawsuit reads: “Recently, Mr. Orange’s children were playing basketball when a voice came on through the camera’s two-way speaker system.” It continues to state: “An unknown person engaged with Mr. Orange’s children commenting on their basketball play and encouraging them to get closer to the camera.”
This story alone is enough to chill you to your bone. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Multiple users of the Ring camera have experienced similar hacks in recent times. Seven such incidences have been identified in the lawsuit. One video in particular, which was sent to WMC Action News 5 by the affected family, saw a hacker terrify a small child by claiming he was Santa Claus. Reported Jessica Holley later uploaded the video on Twitter.
Each time I’ve watched this video it’s given me chills.
A Desoto County mother shared this Ring video with me. Four days after the camera was installed in her daughters’ room she says someone hacked the camera & began talking to her 8-year-old daughter.
— Jessica Holley (@Jessica_Holley) December 10, 2019
The lawsuit against Ring claims the company should have implemented a two-factor authorization and notes that Ring failed to exercise a practice of demanding complex passwords when setting up the device. The lawsuit states: “Unfortunately, Ring did not fulfill its core promise of providing privacy and security for its customers as its camera systems are fatally flawed.”
Orange’s unfortunate hack is just another example of poor practices made out by Ring. Earlier in December, Buzzfeed discovered that over 3000 Ring users had their log-in information leaked. On top of access to the video feed, the leak included payment information, address, and email address of the users.
Ring has not made a public statement regarding the leak nor the lawsuit.