Hackers hijack Nest camera, issue fake warning of North Korea missile attack

nest two factor authentication camera indoor smart apartment header

The idea of having a security camera in your house is to make you feel safe. Unfortunately for a family in Orinda, California, hackers managed to hijack their Nest security camera and gave the home quite the scare by issuing a fake emergency broadcast warning of an incoming nuclear attack from North Korea.

The Lyons family was hit with the unexpected warning on Sunday afternoon, according to an account provided to the San Jose Mercury News. Without warning, they heard a loud sound similar to the static-sounding squeal that comes before the start of an emergency broadcast alert coming from their Nest security camera. That noise was followed by a message that claimed three intercontinental ballistic missiles had been launched from North Korea and were heading to Los Angeles, Chicago, and Ohio. The alert claimed the United States was retaliating against Pyongyang for the attack, but warned people in the affected cities they had three hours to evacuate.

Needless to say, the message had the family panicking. Laura Lyons told Mercury News that the message sounded legitimate and it caused “five minutes of sheer terror and another 30 minutes trying to figure out what was going on.” The family looked for any sort of indication the attack was real, turning on the TV and flipping to news channels to see if there was any coverage of the supposed attack. The Lyons’ son hid under a rug while the adults called 911 and Nest’s customer service to determine if the warning was real. The family eventually determined the warning was likely the result of a third-party hack that allowed the attackers to hijack the family’s security camera.

In a statement provided to Digital Trends, a spokesperson for Nest insisted that the company “was not breached.” Instead, the hack was likely the result of a targeted attack against the family’s security setup, which may have reused an exposed password that was available online.

“These recent reports are based on customers using compromised passwords (exposed through breaches on other websites). In nearly all cases, two-factor verification eliminates this type of the security risk,” the spokesperson said. “We take security in the home extremely seriously, and we’re actively introducing features that will reject comprised passwords, allow customers to monitor access to their accounts and track external entities that abuse credentials.”

Emerging Tech

Here’s how Facebook taught its Portal A.I. to think like a Hollywood filmmaker

When Facebook introduced its Portal screen-enhanced smart speakers, it wanted to find a way to make video chat as intimate as sitting down for a conversation with a friend. Here's how it did it.
Smart Home

After camera hacks, Nest locks customers out until they change their password

Nest is locking people out of their accounts if it believes there may have been a breach. Users will have to set up a new, secure password before they are able to regain access to their account.
Mobile

Happy Valentine’s Day! Coffee Meets Bagel dating app data may have been breached

Are you planning on using Coffee Meets Bagel to find love on Valentine's Day? If you've been using the app for a while, you'll probably want to change your password -- the company said a data breach may have taken place before May 2018.
Smart Home

Lowe’s offers Presidents Day bargains on Samsung appliances, Nest, and Dyson

Anticipating the demand for DIY makeovers, Lowe's Presidents' Day sale has deals on popular products from Dyson, Nest, and Samsung. If you're shopping for a vacuum cleaner, a stainless steel fridge, or home security devices, head to Lowe's.
Computing

500px reveals almost 15 million users are caught up in security breach

Almost 15 million members of portfolio website 500px have been caught up in a security breach. The hack occurred in 2018 but was only discovered last week. Users are being told to change their 500px password as soon as possible.
News

KBIS 2019: LG adds Tovala’s meal platform to its array of smart oven add-ons

LG Electronics USA is launching new partnerships at KBIS 2019, including a new app integration into its smart ovens that will add Tovala's meal delivery and preparation platform. LG also features partnerships with SideChef, Innit, and Drop.
Smart Home

Amazon may be close to opening its first cashier-free store outside U.S.

Amazon could be on the verge of opening its first cashier-free store outside of the U.S. after a recent report claimed the company has secured retail space for a location in central London.
News

Ready for his close-up: Another man was caught licking a Ring video doorbell

A man in Lake Worth, Florida was caught on film licking a family's video doorbell. This makes the second incident like this in just over a month, after another doorbell licker was caught in California.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Smart Home

Perlick brings a bigger, bolder version of its high-tech fridge to KBIS 2019

Milwaukee-based manufacturer Perlick has been making refrigerators for nearly 50 years. It will be unveiling a bigger, bolder version of its popular column refrigerator at KBIS 2019.
Smart Home

No strings attached: This levitating lamp uses science to defy gravity

Now on Kickstarter, the Levia lamp is a cool industrial-looking lamp which boasts a levitating bulb. Looking for a table light that will dazzle visitors? You've come to the right place.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Roomba Robot Vacuums for Presidents’ Day

Spring cleaning is just around the corner, and Walmart has already begun dropping prices on Roomba, Shark, and Eufy robot vacuums. For a limited time, you can save as much as $150 on a brand-new iRobot Roomba.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day vacuum deals: Roomba, Dyson, and Bissell

Amazon and Walmart are offering pretty substantial savings to help kick-start your spring cleaning. Top brands like Roomba, Dyson, and Bissell are dropping prices left and right for Presidents' Day.
Smart Home

Champagne-colored fridges? Talking toilets? All the appliance trends in 2019

Ever wished you had Amazon Alexa in your bathroom or a brightly colored appliance? The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) starts today, and here are some of the trends we expect to see at the show and beyond.