Let’s start off here by taking our requisite doses of grains of salt: The internet loves its urban legends, it loves whipping up doctored footage of stuff, and it especially loves pointing out how potentially dumb so many artifacts of the Internet Of Things can be. But still: This is some pretty upsetting shit, as The Cut reports that multiple people have uploaded videos to social media in recent weeks claiming to show web-enabled home camera systems—specifically from Ring—being hijacked by hackers, allowing them to watch, and even speak to, people in their homes.
It’s all extremely first-draft Blumhouse, as videos purporting to show hackers talking to both sleeping women and children have leaked out online, raising worries about not just these especially chatty interlopers, but also all the other ones using their access to home networks to silently watch. (Two-factor authentication, folks: It’s a really good idea!) It’s not like people really needed any other reasons to be leery of Ring—the Amazon-owned company’s products have already come under criticism due to their various partnerships with local police forces—but the prospect of living in a real-life Paranormal Activity spin-off certainly couldn’t help.
For what it’s worth, Ring has issued a general statement about its procedures, alleging that it’s poor password maintenance, not the company’s own security infrastructure, that’s causing the problems. None of which is likely to be much of a comfort when your fancy new home security set-up starts singing “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star” to you at 2 o’clock in the morning some bleary and terrifying night.