More than 3,000 Ring doorbell accounts may be vulnerable to hackers—here’s what you need to know

Doorbell-Camera Company Ring Partners With Over 400 Police Departments, Raising Surveillance Concerns
Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla

Many homeowners have been replacing their traditional doorbells with Ring doorbells, which have motion-sensing technology that could deter porch pirates looking to steal packages. These smart doorbells can also alert you who is at the door before you answer it. Solicitor? No need to get off the couch.

But, over the past couple of weeks, concerns have surfaced about bad actors getting a hold of customers’ password information for the Ring smartphone app. If this happens, hackers can see live camera feeds and also get access to home addresses and phone numbers, which obviously prompts some major safety and privacy concerns.

Now, Ring is urging more than 3,000 of its customers to change their passwords and enable two-factor authentication after login information may have been exposed online, according to Consumer Reports.

A Staten Island family told CBSNewYork in December that a hacker taunted their teenage son while he was home alone. The voice came in over the ring cameras and said, “You’re playing video games … What’s up homie? I can still see you.”

Ring has denied the data exposure involved the company’s own system. A spokesperson told Consumer Reports that there’s “no evidence of an unauthorized intrusion or compromise of Ring’s systems or network.”

Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla

Rather, it appears hackers are mining account information from other data breaches in a practice that’s known as “credential stuffing”— which is why you may have noticed that accounts get hacked, but companies claim their systems haven’t been compromised. Credential stuffing happens when attackers get a huge trove of usernames and passwords, oftentimes from a big corporate breach, and then try to “stuff” those names and passwords into the login pages of other accounts or apps, Wired explains. These bad actors are often successful because many people use the same usernames and passwords as their credentials for multiple accounts.

To avoid this, Consumer Reports is urging Ring users to change their passwords and choose one that’s long and complex, plus enable two-factor authentication. If you have a hard time remembering multiple passwords, try using a password manager, Consumer Reports suggests.

These tips could prevent you from having your account information hacked on Ring or elsewhere.

About the Author

Brittany Anas

Hi, I'm Brittany Anas (pronounced like the spice, anise ... see, that wasn't too embarrassing to say, now was it?) My professional writing career started when I was in elementary school and my grandma paid me $1 for each story I wrote for her. I'm a former newspaper reporter, with more than a decade of experience Hula-hooping at planning meetings and covering just about every beat from higher-education to crime to science for the Boulder Daily Camera and The Denver Post. Now, I'm a freelance writer, specializing in travel, health, food and adventure. I've contributed to publications including Men's Journal, Forbes, Women's Health, American Way, TripSavvy, Eat This, Not That!, Apartment Therapy, Denver Life Magazine, 5280, Livability, The Denver Post, Simplemost, USA Today Travel Tips, Make it Better, AAA publications, Reader's Digest, Discover Life and more. Learn More.