Couple says hackers took over smart home system, talked to them


MILWAUKEE (WFLA/CNN) – A couple in Milwaukee is warning others after they say hackers took control of their thermostat and security camera inside their home.

“It’s supposed to make me feel safe and I didn’t feel safe,” Samantha Westmoreland said about her Google Nest system.

Westmoreland returned from work to a blazing hot home and noticed the thermostat was turned all the up to 90 degrees, she told WITI.

She thought it was a glitch and set it back to room temperature – not realizing then it was only the beginning of a rollercoaster 24 hours.

“It gives me the chills just talking about it,” she said.

The thermostat continued to go up and a voice began speaking from a camera in the kitchen, then playing vulgar music.

She and her husband changed their password, but the problems persisted.

Eventually, they contacted their internet carrier and changed their Network ID.

They believe someone hacked into their WiFi and then their nest.

“If someone hacks into your Wifi, they shouldn’t be able to have access to those Nest devices without some sort of wall they have to get over,” Lamont Westmoreland said.

The couple is upset their $700 system was a gateway into their home. THE

The Westmorelands want others to be aware – hackers are outsmarting the smart-home.

“People need to be educated and know that this is real and this is happening and it is super scary,” Samantha said.

Google, which owns the Nest System, says the system itself was not breached.

The company says the couple likely used a compromised password, which can be avoided by switching to a two-factor verification.

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