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Old 03-11-2019, 07:47 PM
 
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I came across this news story about how a person's baby monitor was hacked by a mysterious hacker and was actually able to talk through it to the baby:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXIWfuakeW4

But I thought this was very strange. For example, I have a set of walkie talkies but it's not capable for a hacker to hack the walkie talkies.

I also have microphones which I use in my job, but they are not capable for a hacker to hack into the mic and speak into it, and having their voice come out the other end through a speaker or anything. In order to speak into the mic, you have to actually speak into it, and cannot hack it with a computer from far away.

So why are baby monitors invented to be hackable, then when other technology such as microphones, speakers, and walkie talkies are not?
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:52 PM
 
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I think they only run on a couple channels, but maybe I'm talking about a generation ago's baby monitors.

We could hear our neighbors on our baby monitor. Hilarious. They sure had a hard time getting Lindsay to bed. And we couldn't go in our sleeping baby's room to change the monitor channel, and weren't going to turn our monitor off because we needed to hear our baby.

She did like listening to Little Mermaid, for sure.
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Monitors use the radio spectrum. The FCC limits the frequencies for such communications to an incredibly small part of that spectrum. Unless there is some sort of encoding that is difficult to hack, people can listen in. Those who are savvy can do more. The problem is not new. I used to listen in to voice pager frequencies back when they were popular.

The solution is to go with wired systems rather than the cheaper easier wireless ones. Wireless "security" cameras are an even bigger danger. If you are going to use those, use them only outside of your house and not aimed at where you park.
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
In order to speak into the mic, you have to actually speak into it, and cannot hack it with a computer from far away.
so what youre saying is, that the mic can only only pick up sounds when there are actual sounds being made?

youre right, that thing is bulletproof. i hope it isnt patented, we need more of those things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
The solution is to go with wired systems rather than the cheaper easier wireless ones. Wireless "security" cameras are an even bigger danger. If you are going to use those, use them only outside of your house and not aimed at where you park.
this is better, provided theyre not wired into your computer network. most wired computer networks have wireless access points. wired security is certainly an improvement, though if you have a wireless ap... the whole network is essentially wireless. im sure you realise that, but its said for others. and yeah, the wireless protocol on some of the monitors is a lot weaker (or open) compared to wifi, but most of the wifi security protocols are broken as well. this is relevant when youre considering putting cameras in your home, at least i feel it should be.
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Monitors use the radio spectrum. The FCC limits the frequencies for such communications to an incredibly small part of that spectrum. Unless there is some sort of encoding that is difficult to hack, people can listen in. Those who are savvy can do more. The problem is not new. I used to listen in to voice pager frequencies back when they were popular.

The solution is to go with wired systems rather than the cheaper easier wireless ones. Wireless "security" cameras are an even bigger danger. If you are going to use those, use them only outside of your house and not aimed at where you park.
Okay thanks, but what I don't understand is, how is a person able to talk into the baby monitor and have it come back out the microphone, when the baby monitor was not even made to capture the voice of a remote hacker?
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:01 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
Okay thanks, but what I don't understand is, how is a person able to talk into the baby monitor and have it come back out the microphone, when the baby monitor was not even made to capture the voice of a remote hacker?
Describing exactly how might make your eyes glaze over. Crudely described, on the simple ones, any neighbor with a similar system can just speak into theirs and have it come out on yours. On internet connected ones, the traffic from it is accessed and can be spoofed.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:31 AM
 
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Oh okay, so what you are saying is, is that the hacker would need his own baby monitor microphone to speak into, and have his transmission cut into another baby monitor, the one he is hacked into?
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:35 AM
 
Location: Avondale, Chicago
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It's probably not hacking. It's probably just radio interference.

It's similar to how the local low-power college radio station I listen to sometimes gets religious programming in Spanish bleeding into the reception at times, particularly when I drive near high-voltage power lines. Just a reality of radio technology.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:50 AM
 
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But they said on the news that I linked, that it was a hacking, as in done intentionally.
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
But they said on the news that I linked, that it was a hacking, as in done intentionally.
it works like this-- software isnt perfect. imperfect software has flaws ("vulnerabilities") that can be exploited. when such exploits are found, or sometimes when the vulnerabilities are found (even if no one has exploited them) then conscientious security experts help to fix the software.

in a lot of cheap devices (and really not only cheap ones, but these home internet gadgets are notoriously poor in this regard because the support after purchase is lousy or non-existent) there are bugs (vulnerabilities) that can be exploited.

the problem with internet gadgets and routers is that owners dont update them.

that means when the exploits are found, most people are still vulnerable. hackers do a number of things to hack devices, but sometimes its as simple as sending data that isnt filtered out (that filter would fix it) but that causes the software to behave in a way that wasnt expected or intended by its authors. its complex, and thus difficult to find every possible flaw before purchase. the longer you spend on that, the higher the cost of the time and expertise used to fix it.
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