Google Nest has become a trending topic this week as multiple users have reported security breaches. On Tuesday, Q13 FOX reported that a family in Auburn, Wash. claimed that someone hacked their Nest and was watching them and speaking through the cameras. On Sunday, a Northern California family’s Nest issued a fake emergency warning claiming that three nuclear missiles from North Korea were headed for Los Angeles, Chicago and Ohio, according to the East Bay Times.
“It warned that the United States had retaliated against Pyongyang and that people in the affected areas had three hours to evacuate,” Laura Lyons, matriarch of the Northern California family, told the East Bay Times. “It sounded completely legit, and it was loud and got our attention right off the bat . . . It was five minutes of sheer terror and another 30 minutes trying to figure out what was going on.”
Abby Laguidao of the Washington home was equally horrified by her Nest’s unusual behavior, telling Q13 FOX that the male voices coming through the device were cursing at her and her children, making remarks such as “nice laptop” and even yelling at her for recording as they spoke through the Nest.
"Nest has reset all the accounts where customers reused passwords that were previously exposed through breaches on other websites and published publicly," a Google spokesperson said to SDM in an emailed statement. "Even though Nest was not breached, these customers were vulnerable because their credentials were freely available on the Internet. Each customer has received instructions on how to establish new credentials. For added password security, we’re preventing customers from using passwords which appear on known compromised lists. As before, we encourage all customers to use two-factor verification for added account security, even if your password is compromised."
The East Bay Times points out that these incidents are not the first of their kind. In December, a Houston family’s Nest camera baby monitor started screaming that it was going to kidnap their baby. That same month, a Canadian hacker spoke through an Arizona man’s Nest camera to tell him how easily hackable he was, and how to protect himself.