Wyze Camera Breach Enables 13,000 Users to Peek Into Strangers' Homes

By Trisha Andrada

Feb 21, 2024 07:30 AM EST

Wyze, a Seattle-based company specializing in smart-home products and wireless cameras, has confirmed that a camera breach allowed some 13,000 users to see sensitive content from strangers' devices on Friday.

Customers could see thumbnails from other users' feeds in their apps as cameras were returning online after a service outage, and a few reportedly clicked through to watch the footage. 

(Photo : Alan J. Hendry on Unsplash)

Security Issue on Wyze Cameras

According to The Washington Post, the company notified customers of the security incident via email on Monday. The notice said Amazon Web Services was responsible for the first hours-long outage.

Due to the mix-up in the device IDs and user ID mapping when the cameras came back online, some individuals had access to data from the wrong accounts. Wyze said that a separate third-party partner caused the problem, but the issue has been resolved since then.

In the email published on The Verge, the company issued an apology: "We must do more and be better, and we will. We are so sorry for this incident and are dedicated to rebuilding your trust."

Numerous customers posted online regarding seeing thumbnails from strangers' cameras in their Wyze apps when the service outage occurred.

One Reddit user wrote: "It's a totally different camera, different time zone, different everything. It even is showing events in my event history. So does this mean my cameras are showing up for other people as well?? Not pleased."

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Widespread Use of Wi-Fi Cameras

The proliferation of reasonably priced Wi-Fi-connected cameras that allow homeowners to monitor their properties from anywhere with an internet connection has been a significant factor in the home security system market's rapid expansion over the last decade. 

At its launch, Wyze's home camera cost $20. The technology is vulnerable to common security threats like hacks and breaches as it can expose highly personal information. 

The cameras, usually used inside homes to monitor a baby, can pick up private conversations and video footage. A lot of similar problems have cropped up over the years. 

Last May, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accused camera maker Ring of allowing staff to watch client recordings and failing to safeguard them from hackers.

READ MORE: Microsoft Catches Hackers From Russia, China, North Korea, Iran Using OpenAI Tools to Improve Their Cyberattacks

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