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

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(WNCN/CNN Newsource) – A couple in Milwaukee belives someone has outsmarted their smart-home system.

The couple says hackers took control of the thermostat and indoor camera on their Google Nest system.

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

Westmoreland returned from work to a blazing hot home and the thermostat turned all the way up for 90 degrees.

She thought it was just a glitch and set it back to room temperature, not realizing then it was only the beginning of a roller coaster 24 hours.

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

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

Westmoreland says she unplugged the camera and turned it to face the ceiling.

She and her husband then 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 into 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,” said Lamont Westmoreland.

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

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

“Hopefully someone hears this and this awakens them or alerts them to this is happening,” said Lamont. His wife, Samantha agreeing, “People need to be educated and know that this is real and this is happening and it is super scary.”

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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