Can Summer Baby Monitors Be Hacked? (Checked)

Summer baby monitors provide parents the ability to check up on their little ones even when they are not in the same room as them.

However, with information circulating the internet about the potentiality of hackers gaining access to these devices, you may be wondering if your Summer baby monitor can be exploited.

Here’s If Summer Baby Monitors Can Be Hacked:

Summer monitors are more susceptible to hacking, according to a recent study. The study, conducted by the University of Oxford and the University of California, San Diego, found that some WiFi-enabled baby monitors are vulnerable to attackers who can access the devices and watch live video feeds.

Summer Baby monitor

Can Summer Baby Monitors Be Hacked?

Summer baby monitors have 2.4GHz encryption and offer the ability to set password protection. 

However, these devices have security flaws that can, and have, been exploited. 

Although these occurrences are rare, owners of Summer baby monitors should ensure that they have sufficient additional protection protocols, such as a password-protected, secure WiFi connection. 

Why Does My Summer Baby Monitor Sound Like It’s Being Hacked?

There’s been quite a stir recently about hackers targeting baby monitors, so it stands to reason that parents have become concerned when their Summer baby monitor starts making strange noises.

Could these noises indicate that their Summer baby monitor is being hacked?

My Summer Baby Monitor Keeps Beeping

Owners of Summer baby monitors may have found that their devices are persistently beeping.

This situation can leave parents frustrated, but for some, it may lead them to believe that their baby monitor is being hacked.

The good news is that Summer baby monitors beep for a reason:

  1. Your Summer Baby Monitor Cannot Find A Signal.
    • If the signal between parent and baby unit drops out then the device will alert you to this by bleeping until the connection is restored.
  2. Battery Levels Are Low Or Flat.
    • If your parent unit’s batteries are too low, or it is completely out of juice, then you will be alerted.
    • Charging the batteries of your parent unit will stop your unit from beeping.
  3. The Baby Unit Has Turned Off.
    • Similar to a connection issue, if the baby unit has powered down it will cause your parent unit to beep.
    • The persistent beeping is letting you know that the baby unit is no longer sending you a signal.
    • Switching the baby unit back on will ensure that the bleeping will stop.

As you can see, there are some reasonable explanations for why your Summer baby monitor will beep. Thankfully, none of these reasons are due to hacking.

My Summer Baby Monitor Is Squealing

Audio issues, such as squealing, were pointed out in our article about 5 problems with Summer baby monitors.

It’s an unpleasant sound, but it does not mean that your baby monitor has been hacked

  • Summer baby monitors will make this noise because of feedback.
  • Feedback occurs when the parent unit and baby unit are in too close proximity to one another.
  • Increasing the distance between baby and parent units will stop this from happening.

My Summer Baby Monitor Has Audio Interference

Interference in your audio feed can take many different forms, but the most common are:

  1. Static
  2. Crackling
  3. Distortion
  4. Hissing

Before jumping to any conclusions it is important to remember that these sounds can be caused by objects and items in your house.

If you have the following appliances or objects near your baby unit you should attempt to put some distance between them and check if this resolves the problem.

Items And Objects That Can Produce Unwanted Audio Interference

  • Wifi routers
  • Microwaves
  • Fridges
  • Ovens
  • Bluetooth devices
  • Mirrors
  • Bodies of water
  • Large metallic objects

The truth is, that more often than not, these sounds are not in fact anything to do with your device being exploited, but rather due to the limitations of the device.

Why Would Someone Hack A Baby Monitor?

The idea of hacking a baby monitor would appall most people.

Why someone would go to such lengths to gain access to a device meant to watch over a baby can seem ludicrous.

However, there are some individuals out there who have taken it upon themselves to hack baby monitors, and here are the reasons why:

  1. For A Distasteful Practical Joke.
    • Pranksters have found that they can go digital and play tricks on people in their own homes.
    • By gaining access to your baby monitor they can speak to homeowners through audio feed and sometimes shout abuse.
    • Parents have even reported finding that someone is whispering things to their baby over their baby monitor.
    • Although this is very disturbing it does not pose a huge risk to the security of their household. Nevertheless, it is prudent to disconnect the device immediately.
  2. To Observe The Family Home For The Thrill Of It.
    • Voyeurs get a kick out of quietly watching other people and by hacking the camera feed of a baby monitor they can get a peek into your family life.
    • This creepy pastime is not necessarily malicious, however, it too is quite disturbing and a breach of your privacy.
  3. To Gain Access To Personal Data.
    • Criminals can hack baby monitors to use them as a backdoor into your other WiFi-connected devices.
    • Passwords and personal and financial data can be stolen and abused.
    • Baby monitors can also be hacked to check whether the house is unoccupied, allowing burglars to know when best to gain entry.

Are There Any Reports Of Summer Baby Monitors Being Hacked?

There have unfortunately been reports of Summer Baby monitors being exploited by hackers.

The Kansas news channel, KWCH12, reported that a mother found that her Summer Infant baby monitor was tracking her as she went around the room.

Despite having made a password on the baby monitor itself, she did not use a password to secure her WiFi.

This lack of security allowed her, and her home, to become a target.

The woman in question was understandably quite upset and stated that she wanted to advise other mothers to:

“put passwords on these things and monitor whether someone is accessing them or not.”

Arstechnica also reported that the Summer Infant Baby Zoom Web service can be exploited to allow anyone access to the camera feed of a Summer baby monitor.

This is due to the fact that there is no password protection in place when adding additional authorized viewers to the account.

Can You Check If A Baby Monitor Is Being Hacked?

Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can recognize if your Summer baby monitor has become a victim of hackers.

  1. Your Summer Baby Monitors Camera Is Moving Around By Itself.
    • This is an obvious sign that a hacker has gained remote access to the camera movement controls.
    • It’s worth noting if the camera appears to be pointing in the wrong direction and not focused on your baby, as this may be a hacker sussing out the layout of the room.
  2. Strange LED Light Behavior.
    • If your camera’s LED light is flashing in a manner that you do not recognize, it could be a sign a hacker has accessed the system and is using the app to view the camera feed without your permission or knowledge.
  3. Unfamiliar Voices Coming From The 2-way Intercom.
    • This is one of the most apparent ways your baby monitor has been hacked.
    • If you can hear someone talking over the feed it could mean they can listen through it too.
  4. Your ID Or Details Have Changed.
    • Always choose an ID and password that are strong, and if you notice either has been changed without your input, you will need to immediately change them again.
    • The new password may have been created by a potential hacker after they gained access.

Can You Protect A Summer Baby Monitor From Hackers?

Luckily there are several ways in which you can reduce your Summer baby monitor’s vulnerability and protect it from hackers.

Here are the best ways to protect your monitor:

  1. Choose A Strong Password.
    • Always make sure you use a combination of symbols, upper and lowercase letters, and nonsequential numbers.
    • Resist the urge to use a pet’s name or family name.
  2. Ensure Your Wireless Router Is Secure.
    • This is a vital step when it comes to protecting not only your Summer baby monitor but also other devices using your WiFi.
    • To do this you need to keep the firmware updated, create a strong password, and make sure your WiFi is not an open network.
  3. Update Your Baby Monitor’s Firmware.
    •  Using out-of-date firmware leaves your monitor vulnerable to bugs and glitches.
    • Updates allow the manufacturer to put in measures to keep your device protected from new methods of attack.
  4. Disable DDNS And Port Forwarding.
    • This may only apply to certain models, but if you can turn off this function it will increase the security of your device.
  5. Disable Remote Access Viewing When Not In Use.
    • This function is super handy when you are away from home and you want to check in on your little one, but in terms of security, it makes your camera more vulnerable to hackers.
  6. Always register your monitor with Summer Inc.
    • This way, when any security issues are identified, Summer will be able to issue a recall or send updates to solve the problem.

Are Summer Baby Monitors Encrypted?

Potential buyers and those parents who already own a Summer baby monitor may well be interested in whether their Summer baby monitor offers some level of security to protect it from hackers.

The company itself states that its Summer Infant baby monitor does have an encrypted signal:

Summer Infant produces only digital (2.4GHz)
(…) to optimize parents’ privacy and security.

They also come with the added security of using passwords to further prevent would-be hackers from infiltrating the device.

However, it is worth mentioning that many other baby monitors employ rigorous forms of encryption, such as frequency-hopping spread spectrum.

Can Summer Baby Monitors Be Hacked When Not On Wifi

Unfortunately, all baby monitors that use wireless technology have the potential to be hacked by an unauthorized individual that’s based anywhere around the globe.

If your Summer baby monitor is disconnected from your WiFi network, it still can be hacked and used to gain access to your private network.

This is only the case if it has been previously connected via this method; if you have never connected your monitor to your network then it is not possible.

Summer produces baby monitors with both WiFi and non-WiFi capabilities.

For example, The Summer Infant Wide View 2.0 does not rely on Wifi.

The monitors that do not use WiFi still sadly have the ability to be vulnerable to hackers, although this requires proximity between the hacker and the baby monitor, making it highly unlikely.

Read this blog about 6 baby monitors that are easiest to hack.

Sources

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