Wyze Cameras Mess Up Again: Is It Time To Get Rid of Yours?

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In a concerning incident, some Wyze security camera owners recently discovered they had unauthorized access to webcam feeds from cameras they didn't own or recognize. The breach raised significant safety and privacy concerns, highlighting potential vulnerabilities in the Wyze security ecosystem.

We've been fans of Wyze, but this news is a big red flag when it comes to trusting this company and its devices in your home. To help you figure out if it's time to ditch your Wyze cams for a brand that puts your privacy first, we dive into the details of the incident, the company's response, and the broader implications for user safety and privacy.

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Image: Katie McEntire, SafeWise

The incident

The Verge first reported that users on Reddit disclosed that they could view webcam feeds from other users' cameras on Wyze's web viewer at view.wyze.com. Some users were startled to find themselves unintentionally peering into other people's homes, raising alarm and discomfort within the Wyze community. According to a Wyze spokesperson, the issue seemed to be caused by a web caching problem.

The issue persisted for approximately 40 minutes before the company identified and resolved the problem. To address the situation, Wyze temporarily shut down view.wyze.com to conduct a thorough investigation. It is essential to note that users who did not log in to view.wyze.com during this specific time frame weren't affected.

Wyze response

Wyze responded to the incident by acknowledging the web caching issue and emphasizing that it was promptly resolved. Dave Crosby, a Wyze spokesperson, assured users that the issue did not affect the Wyze app or users who did not use view.wyze.com during the affected time period. Notably, the web portal view.wyze.com operates as a separate viewing experience behind a paywall.

In its response, Wyze outlined the following actions taken to rectify the situation and prevent future occurrences:

  • A detailed investigation was conducted to identify the 10 users affected by the incident.
  • Transparency efforts included sharing real-time updates on platforms such as Reddit, Facebook, Wyze Forum, and their website, while also addressing questions from the press.
  • The 10 affected users were notified about the breach.
  • Wyze implemented additional security measures, including revised company policies, enhanced employee training, and technical fixes. These measures include adding admin alerts to prevent a recurrence.
  • An external security firm was hired to conduct further penetration testing of Wyze systems and processes.

Despite the company's reassurances, questions remain about the extent of the breach, as well as the number of users who may have accessed others' camera feeds. The company pledged to continue investigating the incident, identify affected users, and take steps to prevent such breaches from happening in the future.

Thumbs Down
Wyze should do better

Wyze's status page provided an apology for the incident, stating that "this experience does not reflect our commitment to users or the investments we've made over the last few years to enhance security." Based on the lack of communication and transparency related to this incident, we have moved Wyze cameras out of our top lineups. We do still recommend Wyze lights and smart plugs, as security implications on those products are far less dire than on a camera.

Katie McEntire of SafeWise explains more in a short TikTok video.

Broader implications

This incident comes on the heels of a previous security vulnerability revealed in March 2022, where Wyze was aware of a security flaw in their WyzeCam v1 cameras for three years but discontinued the product without informing customers. Such incidents, coupled with the recent privacy breach, raise concerns about Wyze's overall approach to user safety and privacy.

The issue is not merely about security mishaps but also about the company's response to crises. Wyze's actions, or lack thereof, have drawn criticism for their lack of transparency and communication with customers. The incident highlights the need for robust security procedures in the face of evolving threats, as demonstrated by the delay in addressing previous vulnerabilities.

What to do if you have Wyze cameras

Although Wyze insists this was a limited incident that was quickly resolved, we understand that you may no longer feel comfortable with a Wyze camera watching over your sleeping child or the rest of your home. Here are our recommendations in the wake of this latest Wyze privacy breach:

  • Move Wyze cameras to watch over the outside or less sensitive areas of your home. Be careful to keep things like house numbers, street signs, and other notable landmarks out of view. Those clues could be enough for an unauthorized viewer to identify where you live.
  • Retire your Wyze cameras until the company puts measures in place that make you feel confident in its commitment to protecting your family’s privacy and security. This should include a direct response to you, as a customer, explaining the incident in detail and outlining what Wyze has done to prevent issues like this in the future.
  • Replace your Wyze cameras with another affordable brand that we recommend.

In conclusion, the recent Wyze security camera breach serves as a stark reminder of the importance of user privacy and safety in the rapidly expanding world of smart devices. As technology continues to advance, companies like Wyze must prioritize security and take proactive measures to protect their users from potential breaches and vulnerabilities. The incident underscores the vital role of transparency and timely communication in maintaining trust between companies and their customers in an era where privacy is of paramount concern.

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past decade. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime and safety reports and spotting trends. Her expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like NPR, TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of podcast, radio and TV clips in the US and abroad.

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