SOUTH CAROLINA (Mark Price/Charlotte Observer) - A South Carolina mother says someone hacked the family's baby monitor and used the camera to watch the most intimate details of her life, including the breastfeeding of her newborn son.
Jamie Summitt, who lives in the Charleston area, posted the "raw and sensitive" story of her discovery on Facebook, and it has since been shared nearly 2,400 times and prompted 500-plus comments. Some of those commenters have noted her story is "scary," like something "from a horror movie."
Summitt, 24, says in the post that the ordeal began May 30 when she caught something out of the corner of her eye in her bedroom.
"All of a sudden I noticed...that the camera (on the baby monitor) was moving...and it was panning over to our bed: The exact spot that I breastfeed my son every day," said Summitt, noting the FREDI baby monitor operates via a cellphone app.
"Once the person watching realized I was not in bed, he panned back over to Noah asleep in his bassinet. My heart immediately sank into my stomach...This person has watched me day in and day out in the most personal and intimate moments between my son and I."
Summitt told ABC News that the couple immediately grabbed the monitor, unplugged it and put it in a drawer. They then called police, she said in her Facebook post.
An officer came to their home and tried to access the monitor's security settings, but "it completely locked us out with a message saying 'Insufficient Permission,'" Summitt told ABC News.
She believes the hacker "could hear us and that we had figured out what was going on," says her Facebook post.
The couple deleted the app for the monitor from their phones, but they remain worried, Summitt told TV station WCIV.
"My son is only three months old and God knows what kind of images and videos out there of both of us and intimate moments," Summitt told WCIV. "I feel guilty for not doing enough research on this...I thought baby monitors were kind of cut and dry. You find a baby monitor, you watch them napping."
The couple's experience is in keeping with a 2015 study by the security data provider Rapid7, which determined retail baby monitors are both vulnerable and easy to exploit because they are Internet accessible.
Summitt says in her Facebook post that she purchased the monitor off Amazon and it ran via a WiFi connection, so the two parents could view the video feed from their phones. She believes it was the app itself that was hacked, says her post.
The first-time mom says she's now hoping to warn other couples about the potential dangers of such devices.