Scam Alert #20 — New baby cam warning & toy dangers

You could be letting creepy people get close to your kids without your knowledge.

Parents and researchers are reporting new hacks on baby monitors, as well as toys that let bad guys in.

See why big stores are refusing to sell a popular toy — and why you should go look at your router right after this — in this week’s scam alert.

Watch here:

 

 

Risky Routers

Time to check your router.

Researchers say even more routers are in danger from a new malware than they first thought.

Security company Cisco warned about the so-called VPNFilter malware in May, affecting five different brands of routers — Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, TP-Link and QNAP storage kit.

The FBI told people to re-boot — in other words, turn your router off and on again.

Now Cisco researchers say the list is longer.

People with routers from ASUS, D-Link, Huawei, Ubiquiti, UPVEL, and ZTE are also at risk, Cisco said.

 

The FBI recommends you turn your router off and on again to protect from the VPNFilter malware. Image credit: WikimediaImages

 

The malware lets attackers destroy your router or use it to attack other people, according to researchers.

The FBI says no matter what router you have, reboot to protect yourself.

Turn it off for thirty seconds, then restart.

You can see the list of affected routers at the bottom of this Cisco Talos post.

You can learn more about rebooting your router — and the difference between rebooting and resetting — here from ESET.

Baby Cam Warning

A South Carolina mom is putting out an alert saying someone hacked her baby cam.

Jamie Summitt says she bought a Fredi baby monitor for her son Noah.

She says in a Facebook post that she saw the camera moving on its own and realized someone was watching her and her baby, likely when she was breastfeeding and other moments of bonding.

 

A South Carolina woman says someone hacked her baby monitor. Image credit: Jamie Summitt/Facebook.

 

Summitt says she contacted the camera company but got no response.

The company did not respond to Archer News Network’s request either.

Baby cameras have been hacked before.

In one case, a family said someone was spying on a three-year-old boy in Washington state saying, “Wake up little boy. Daddy’s looking for you.”

Some experts recommend you stay away from baby cams that connect to Wi-Fi because bad guys can also connect to you and your child.

In March, researchers from Ben-Gurion University is Israel reported they could easily hack several baby monitors, as well as other connected devices.

They offered tips like these:

—Buy IoT devices only from reputable manufacturers and vendors

—Avoid used IoT devices. They could already have malware installed.

—Research each device online to determine if it has a default password and if so change before installing.

 

The Fredi baby monitor that was reportedly hacked. Image credit: Jamie Summitt/Facebook.

 

Plane Hack

It’s not just high flyers anymore.

A researcher says he’s found a way to hack airplanes from the ground.

Dark Reading reports that researcher Ruben Santamarta discovered that people with ill intent can hack into the plane’s Wi-Fi and satellite communications from the ground while the plane is in the air.

Three years ago, the FBI said a security expert riding on an airplane hacked the plane while it was flying and made it go sideways. 

The Department of Homeland Security is aware of the problem of airplanes at risk of hacking and is investigating, according to Motherboard.

 

A researcher says he found a way that attackers can hack into planes from the ground. Image credit: Free-Photos

 

Riskiest State

You saw here last month that Vegas is the riskiest city for you for cyber crime, according to a survey.

Now, we learn the number one state is Florida.

People in Florida have the most dangerous cyber habits, followed by Wyoming and Montana, according to Ponemon Institute research.

The best?

Utah is in third place.

Massachusetts in second.

And number one — New Hampshire.

Some of the top risky habits include reusing the same password on many accounts, making it easy for the bad guys to get in and rip you off.

 

Miami, Florida. Researchers declared Florida to have the worst cyber habits in the U.S. Image credit: Archer News

 

Toy Dangers

Amazon is giving CloudPets the boot.

The fuzzy toys are not secure, as you saw on Archer News last year.

Researchers found they could let attackers in to talk to your kids and steal your personal info.

Now, the browser company Mozilla has done a security audit and also found big problems with the toys’ security and privacy.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote a letter to Walmart, Target and Amazon asking them to stop selling CloudPets, the BBC reported.

Big stores like Walmart, Target and eBay have also stopped selling the stuffed animals that were designed to let parents communicate with their kids from far away, reports say.

 

CloudPets toy bear. Image credit: CloudPets

 

The FBI warned parents about connected toys last year.

Not only can attackers get in, but toy companies hold a lot of data about you and your child and may not protect it properly.

Security experts say you should research a toy before you buy it for your children.

Facebook Tax

How much would you pay to use Facebook?

Uganda is making people there pay five cents a day — a social media tax — if they use services like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

That may not sound like much.

But some rights activists say the government is trying to control people with the tax, Reuters reported.

Police have filed criminal charges against some people who’ve criticized the president on Facebook or other social media in 2015 and 2017.

Police arrested a professor and human rights activist for calling the Ugandan president a “pair of buttocks” in a post last year.

 

Police arrested Ugandan professor Stella Nyanzi for insulting the country’s president on Facebook. Image credit: Stella Nyanzi/Facebook

 

Prosecutors asked her to get a psychiatric evaluation, saying she must be insane for criticizing the president, CBC Radio reported.

And two years ago, the government shut down access to those social media services during the presidential election, claiming political opponents would use them to organize protests.

 

See other scam alerts:

Scam Alert #19 — Chasing your ambulance & World Cup scams

Scam Alert #18 — Sin City security & BMWs hacked

Scam Alert #17 — Bank sneakers & hacker arrests

See more Scam Alerts here at Archer News.