• OMG! My Ring doorbell was HACKED!

    OMG! My Ring was HACKED! They talked to us and even ordered a Papa John's pizza! Should I burn it? Throw it away? Why is it so insecure?

    First of all, calm down and let's understand what happened. More than likely personal Ring cameras weren't "hacked". These aren't sophisticated hackers like you see in Hollywood movies. Instead what probably happened was that identity information from other data breaches were used to login to Ring. This is concerning, but it's easily fixed. Let me give an example, if my email is joebob @ holdmybeer.com and my password is "reallytoughpassword" and I use it EVERYWHERE (Home Depot, Facebook, Reddit, Gmail, Target, Ring) then all it takes is one data breach to put your password for EVERYWHERE out there where unscrupulous people will use it, like logging into your Ring. Lesson here, don't use the same password everywhere because data breaches happen constantly and with almost every major website.

    I don't really want this to be about plugging a service, but services like Experian's family protect will actually monitor the "dark web" and watch for any email addresses you have, letting you know when they have been compromised and often through which breach, because there has been quite a few. If a password is present it will also list that, letting you know to immediately change it.

    Second lesson, Ring allows "Two-factor authentication", as does Google, Facebook and about any other site, but they don't force it on you because people would bitch and moan that they have to go through an additional step to get into their app. This is a second password layer that basically texts you a code that you need to enter anytime you access those services (Ring included). This way even if someone has your password, when they try to login it will text you. They won't get the code, so they can't login. Bonus, you will know someone is trying as you'll get a text. Presently this is under Settings - Account - Two Factor Authentication. There is really no reason not to turn it on.

    Which leads me to the next point. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with your WiFi password. To hack your wifi someone would have to be sitting outside your house. Odds are that isn't happening. If it is you have MUCH bigger problems, stalker! Hacking wifi isn't easy either, if you want a fun article, here's one I wrote for a national publication in 2012 on how to do it. https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wire...-wpa-wpa2-2012 Think about it, if you invited someone into your house and gave them your Wifi password, would they automatically be able to see Ring? Nope, you would still have to login into your Ring account to see it.

    What it does have to do with, again, is your Ring password, which either has been stolen because you use it everywhere, or because you use an insanely easy password to guess (like "ILikeKittens"). Change it to be unique to all the sites you go to, and don't make it easy, the more characters it has, the longer it takes for software to crack it. If it takes a long time to crack, odds are they'll move on to someone easier.

    The lesson to be learned here is that anything connected to the internet (Ring, your phone, your TV, Alexa, your iPad, your kids' phone) can be accessed by someone who shouldn't access it if you make it easy enough for them. Don't make it easy for them. Change your password, don't reuse it everywhere, turn on Two Factor Authentication!

    Lastly, a large amount of hacks are coming from Russia, China and the Ukraine. If you replace your router with a real security appliance such as Untangle, you can actually block those countries from even being able to get to your network. It also adds a whole other layer of security over basic routers people buy. It also blocks malware, ransomware, does web filtering, etc. It's a no brainer for keeping your home internet more secure.

    A few years back Untangle opened up their business license significantly reduced to home users. I think it's just $50/year for home users. It might be a little more complex than most people want to tackle, but it's way better than having bad people hack into your home network.