An Arizona man said he got the shock of his life when his Nest home security camera suddenly began speaking to him one day in November.
Real estate agent Andy Gregg said the camera was hacked into by a stranger, who then used it to speak to him. Gregg recorded his conversation with the stranger, who described himself as a "white hat" hacker, that is a hacker who specializes in breaking into protected systems to show their weaknesses.
"Hey, please, please don't be scared or frightened," Gregg recorded the camera saying. "I'm a researcher from Canada ... I'm here to, like, help you ... Your password's been leaked."
The hacker went on to say he didn't have any "malicious intent," but merely wanted to inform Gregg of his vulnerability.
"Damn, man! OK. Alright. Well then, yeah, I appreciate it. Are you able to see where I live and everything?" Gregg asked
"Yeah. I mean, I don't know where you live right now but if someone was really that dedicated ... they could see when you're not home ... there's so many malicious things someone could do with this," the stranger answered.
Speaking to Inside Edition, Gregg said he was stunned by the intrusion.
"I was totally freaked out," Gregg said, adding that he did believe the hacker didn't mean him any harm. "He seemed honest and genuine."
Gregg went on to ask his new friend for advice. "So you think just change my password on the Nest, or what?" he said.
"Yep ... have a good night, man, and again I'm sorry if I freaked you out," the hacker replied.
After the stranger hung up, Gregg said he immediately unplugged his camera.
Inside Edition spoke to the hacker in question, who said he's a member of Anonymous and is trying to alert people — not just Nest camera users — whose passwords have been leaked.
"It can even lead to things like identity theft," the hacker said.
Added Gregg, "You never know who's listening, watching at any time."
In a statement, Nest told Inside Edition: "Nest has reset all the accounts where customers reused passwords that were previously exposed through breaches on other websites and published publicly. Even though Nest was not breached, these customers were vulnerable because their credentials were freely available on the internet.
"Each customer has received instructions on how to establish new credentials. For added password security, we’re preventing customers from using passwords which appear on known compromised lists. As before, we encourage all customers to use two-factor verification for added account security, even if your password is compromised."