Preventing ‘Ring Hacked’ Scenarios: Tips Against Threat Actors to Home Security Devices

ring hacked

Imagine a serene afternoon: your children are in the living room, giggling and playing with the family dog. The sun filters in, creating a warm ambiance, when out of the blue, a cold, unfamiliar voice starts speaking directly to them. The source? Your trusted pet camera.

Or picture this, you’re expecting a close friend over for a catch-up. You get a notification on your Ring doorbell camera and see your friend’s face. Relieved, you open the door only for a complete stranger to enter, leaving you in utter disbelief and fear.

Shocking, isn’t it? But what’s even more alarming is that these aren’t scenes from a thriller movie; they are real-life incidents experienced by everyday individuals, as a result of Ring hacked devices.

Today, we will address this shocking trend and offer crucial advice for safeguarding your home, particularly when you’re traveling on vacation.

Understanding Ring Security Devices: A Deep Dive

In an age where smart home technology is revolutionizing the way we live, Ring, an Amazon-owned entity, stands at the forefront of this transformation. Specializing in home security, Ring provides state-of-the-art smart security cameras and video doorbells tailored to offer homeowners a sense of safety and convenience.

Ring’s Innovative Doorbell Camera

Ring’s doorbell camera stands out as a noteworthy innovation in the realm of smart home security. Its streamlined design allows it to blend seamlessly next to your front door, and it effortlessly links with your mobile devices using Wi-Fi connectivity. No longer will you need to peek through window blinds or strain your ears to identify a visitor.

In addition to their well-known doorbell cameras, Ring offers a range of indoor and outdoor smart cameras. These versatile cameras cater to homeowners seeking enhanced surveillance capabilities. Whether it’s keeping an eye on play areas for your children, ensuring the safety of your pets, or conducting general surveillance, Ring’s cameras have you covered.

Equipped with built-in motion sensors, these cameras will often alert you to any detected movement, adding a layer of security. The two-way talk feature further enhances functionality, enabling real-time communication for added convenience and peace of mind.

Is Your Ring Device Susceptible to Hacks?

A common question that often pops up in the minds of both potential and current Ring users is: Can these devices be hacked?

Unfortunately, like many other gadgets connected to the internet, Ring systems aren’t immune to cyber threats from threat actors. There have been cases where Ring’s security faced scrutiny and certain vulnerabilities made the news. While the company has worked hard to address and fix many of these issues, some concerns still linger, particularly with devices that initially didn’t have encryption in place.

Hackability of Ring Cameras

In the world of digital technology, it’s a fundamental truth that anything connected to the internet can potentially be vulnerable to hacking. Even Ring cameras are not exceptions to this rule when robust security measures are lacking. Unfortunately, when threat actors uncover a weakness or exploit in Ring doorbells or other devices, they often share this information within their online communities, making it easier for others to gain unauthorized access.

How Do ‘Ring Hacked’ Situations Happen?

Researchers from Dojo, an IoT security firm, found that some Ring devices might as well shout your data from the rooftops. Why? They found that the link between your Ring device and its app isn’t always encrypted.

This tech issue isn’t just about privacy invasion. Threat actors could show you a fake video of your friend at the door, tricking you. And if they’re really sneaky, they might even steal your Wi-Fi password. But what exactly are these threat actors?

What are Threat Actors?

A threat actor refers to an individual or a group that poses a cybersecurity risk. These are the individuals behind cyberattacks, and they are typically classified based on factors like their motives, the type of attack they engage in, and the specific sectors they target.

In the present-day cybersecurity landscape, the environment is incredibly dynamic, and threat actors are continually enhancing their knowledge, including Ring security devices!

Incidents Highlighting Ring Camera Vulnerabilities

Ring’s security concerns aren’t limited to doorbell systems. Consider the disturbing experience of a couple in Atlanta in this news report.

Such breaches represent more than mere privacy concerns. They shatter the very trust users place in these devices, transforming instruments of safety into potential conduits of intrusion.

Ring’s Accountability and User Responsibility

Certainly, Ring must shoulder a significant share of the blame when security lapses occur. However, it’s imperative to recognize that users too play a crucial role in the safeguarding of their data. An over-reliance on companies for data protection sometimes leads to complacency on the user’s end.

Case in point: in 2019, over 3,000 Ring user credentials surfaced online. Intriguingly, this breach was not a direct infiltration of Ring’s systems but the result of a “credential stuffing” attack. Here, threat actors utilized previously compromised username and password pairs, betting on the probability that users recycle passwords across platforms. Regrettably, their gamble often pays off.

Yet, it’s worth noting that Ring could have potentially circumvented such incidents with more proactive security measures. Imagine if Ring had features to alert users of logins from unfamiliar IP addresses or provided access to account login histories. These additions would provide users with tools to ascertain any unauthorized surveillance via their Ring devices.

Tips Against Threat Actors and ‘Ring Hacked’ Situations

While Ring bears a significant responsibility when it comes to security lapses, it’s crucial to acknowledge that users also play a vital role in protecting their data.

Here’s how you can protect yourself from threat actors and prevent your Ring device from getting hacked:

1. Make a Strong Password

Create a unique password for your Ring and Wi-Fi. Mix letters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t use the same password everywhere. If you’re not sure, use a tool to make a strong password. Don’t forget to change it sometimes and use a safe place to store them.

Remember, Ring added new safety features, but a good password is always your first line of defense against most cybersecurity attacks.

2. Never Share Your Account Details

You can grant others access to your Ring equipment without sharing your login details, which keeps your security intact. To do this, add them as a shared user on your account. This allows them, like a teen or roommate, to view videos, use the two-way talk feature, and save videos without having the master account’s login.

Here’s how to add a shared user:

  1. Open the app and select your device.
  2. Go to Settings and tap on Shared Users, then Add User.
  3. Enter the email address of the person you want to share access with.
  4. Choose which devices they can access, then send them an invitation.
  5. Once they accept the invite, they can use their own app and login details to access the devices. Encourage them to use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication for added security.

3. Be Careful Sharing Videos

At some point, you might feel tempted to share your videos with your Facebook followers or on other social platforms. Or maybe you want to notify your neighbors about something suspicious or share amusing footage of an animal rummaging through your trash bins.

However, it’s essential to resist this temptation. Sharing your surveillance videos online can provide hackers with a pathway into your system. It’s also wise to delete old footage because the more videos you have, the more vulnerable you become to potential hacking attempts.

4. Get Extra Protection

Security can be intimidating for some, but there’s plenty of help available. Learning how to secure your Ring Camera can boost your confidence. Consider investing in a standalone firewall and antivirus service. These tools can deter hackers from infiltrating your system and safeguard your network against various threats.

5. Keep the Camera’s Software Up-to-date

Keeping your camera’s software up to date is essential for top-notch security and performance. Stay vigilant about upgrading your Ring camera’s security features. Neglecting updates leaves your system more open to hacker threats. As mentioned earlier, Ring continually enhances security, such as expanding end-to-end encryption to more cameras. So, always update to benefit from these improvements.

6. Decide Who Sees Your Data

In 2020, Ring temporarily stopped sharing data with some third parties due to criticism. But avoiding this entirely is challenging these days. You can, however, take control manually.

Here’s a step-by-step procedure for it:

  1. Open the Ring app on your device.
  2. Access the Menu within the app.
  3. Select “Control Center” from the menu options.
  4. Choose “Third-Party Service Providers” from the Control Center menu.
  5. Navigate to the “Personalized Advertising” section within the Third-Party Service Providers settings.
  6. Ensure that the “Personalized Advertising” option is switched off.
  7. Optionally, return to the Control Center.
  8. Visit the “Law Enforcement Privacy” section in the Control Center menu.
  9. Within “Law Enforcement Privacy,” you can prevent Ring from sharing your videos with law enforcement agencies by following the provided options if desired.

Securing your Ring camera and ensuring digital safety is a team effort. While Ring constantly improves its security features, users are crucial in upholding their own privacy.

By updating software on time and being cautious with data sharing, you boost your digital protection. Always stay updated, adjust your security settings wisely, and together, we’ll make our online world safer.


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Paul Bergman
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