Hackers infiltrate California family’s Nest surveillance camera, send warning of incoming North Korea missile attack

“Laura Lyons was preparing food in her kitchen Sunday when the lazy afternoon took a turn for the absurd,” Matthias Gafni reports for The Mercury News. “A loud squawking — similar to the beginning of an emergency broadcast alert — blasted from the living room, the Orinda mother said, followed by a detailed warning of three North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles headed to Los Angeles, Chicago and Ohio.”

“‘It warned that the United States had retaliated against Pyongyang and that people in the affected areas had three hours to evacuate,’ Lyons said Monday. ‘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,'” Gafni reports. “Lyons and her husband stood slack-jawed in the living room, terrified but also confused because the television continued airing the NFC Championship football game. As their scared 8-year-old son crawled underneath the rug, the couple realized the apocalyptic warning came from their Nest security camera atop their living room television.”

MacDailyNews Take: If that won’t turn you into a prepper, nothing will.

“After many panicked minutes and phone calls to 911 and to Nest, the couple learned they likely were the victims of a hacker,” Gafni reports. “And that panic turned to anger when they found out that Nest knew that there had been a number of such incidents — none involving nuclear strike scenarios — but failed to alert customers. Lyons said a Nest supervisor told them Sunday they likely were the victims of a ‘third party hack’ that gained access to their camera and its speakers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Only the truly ignorant or morbidly stupid would place an internet-connected camera and microphone from Google, of all companies, in their house. Where’s their Facebook cam, in their bedroom?

Someday, hopefully, Apple’s stance of privacy will finally percolate down to the hoi polloi surrounded by insecure, privacy-trampling, eavesdropping devices they’ve wasted they money on and installed themselves like the foolish pawns they are.

DDoS attack: Apple’s HomeKit for a safer smarthome – October 24, 2016
Honeywell unveils Apple HomeKit-compatible Lyric T5 Wi-Fi thermostat – September 27, 2016
Google’s flaky Nest thermostat shakes users’ trust in the Internet of Things – January 19, 2016
Google’s Nest thermostat bug leaves users cold, angry – January 14, 2016
Honeywell announces ‘Lyric Round’ smart thermostat with Apple HomeKit integration – January 5, 2016
Apple HomeKit-compatible thermostat Ecobee closes in on Google’s Nest – September 28, 2015
Apple pulls Google’s Nest thermostat from stores with launch of HomeKit-compatible Ecobee 3 – July 23, 2015
First Apple-certified HomeKit-compliant devices launch – June 2, 2015
Google engineer trashes Tony Fadell’s precious Nest smoke alarm – February 19, 2015
With HomeKit and Honeywell’s Lyric, a Nest acquisition by Apple would have been foolish – June 18, 2014
Will Apple’s Internet of Things vision hurt a beautiful idea? With HomeKit, Apple promises easy home automation – June 6, 2014
Smart thermostat war heats up as Apple-partner Honeywell takes aim at Google’s Nest – June 13, 2014
Honeywell takes dead aim at Google’s Nest with new iPhone-compatible Lyric smart thermostat – June 10, 2014
Dead to me: Apple’s Schiller ‘unfollows’ Tony Fadell and Nest after Google acquisition – January 18, 2014
Say goodbye to privacy: How Nest might transform Google – January 14, 2014
Feuds, funding and a fed up Fadell: Why Apple didn’t buy Nest – January 14, 2014
Did Tim Cook blow it by not snapping up Nest before Google? – January 13, 2014
Google to buy Nest Labs for $3.2 Billion – January 13, 2014

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “occasionalposter1” for the heads up.]


  1. Just when I have, right now a tab open in Safari ready to click on Buy two Nest outdoor cameras from B&H Photo. I’ve always thought inside cameras are stupid, I want to catch the jerk BEFORE he gets inside my house! Oh well, back to researching the best outside security cameras that I can also talk and listen on. I have Ring doorbell, but it’s a piece of junk. Not working as I type.

  2. We have the Ring Doorbell Pro and Floodlight Cam. Both work awesome for us. Have you called Ring Support? They are awesome. When I had a problem, they thought a Ring Chime Pro might fix the issue. When I asked how much it was, they said “let’s see if it fixes the issue. If so, keep it. If not, we’ll go from there”.

    The support team for them is one of the best I have dealt with (in the same league as Rachio, Tervis and Calphalon)

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