PUBLISHED: 6:56 PM 17 Aug 2017
UPDATED: 6:57 PM 17 Aug 2017

Mom Breaks Down After Realizing 8-Year-Old’s Webcam Has Been Online The Entire Time

This Texas mom discovered that her 8-year-old's room was being live streamed to hundreds of pedophiles who were watching her daughters sleep, dress, and play in their bedroom.

T Texas mom discovered that her 8-year-old's room was being live streamed to hundreds of pedophiles who were watching her daughters sleep, dress, and play in their bedroom.

T Texas mom discovered that her 8-year-old’s room was being live streamed to hundreds of pedophiles who were watching her daughters sleep, dress, and play in their bedroom.

A Houston, Texas mother’s “worst nightmare” was realized after she learned that criminals had invaded her daughters’ room. The unknown pedophiles accessed the webcam connected to her girls’ computer and hundreds of people had been monitoring the children since July 27.

Jennifer, the mother of three who wanted to remain anonymous, told reporters that although the family has “security cameras to protect” them, she said she felt like she “failed… [because] People are watching my kids in their home, dressing, sleeping, playing.”

Child predators look for victims among kids with the most freedoms. It’s a terrible fact of progress that the Internet has given these creeps a whole new way to exploit and harm children. A number of police and FBI sites offer common sense warnings about Internet use, but sometimes, even those efforts can’t stop determined criminals.

Pedophiles had hacked into her home network and were broadcasting a live feed from her daughters' bedroom for weeks before she discovered the sick activity.

Pedophiles had hacked into her home network and were broadcasting a live feed from her daughters’ bedroom for weeks before she discovered the sick activity.

Chat rooms are a favorite mine of targets for online predators. Webcams are particularly preferred because they are highly susceptible to hacking, and the pedophile can stay relatively hidden from the victim. Like Jennifer’s girls, children don’t even know that they’re being watched.

Social media combines with these methods, giving criminals key information about someone’s interests, pursuits, and location. For example, if a child has team trophies in her room, and then posts online pictures in that setting, perverts can capture and enlarge the images. Once that happens a criminal knows where the child goes to school, what team they play for, and other private information.

Apparently, while the child was playing games online, she unwittingly connected to a server that hackers used to gain information about the home network. From there, the live streaming showed her daughters' bedroom 24/7.

Apparently, while the child was playing games online, she unwittingly connected to a server that hackers used to gain information about the home network. From there, the live streaming showed her daughters’ bedroom 24/7.

Pedophiles can then show up at practices or games to be near the victim. One undercover agent explained to reporters that her online 13-year-old persona is continually approached by perverted people who send sexually explicit images or attempt to make online contact with the “child.”

Predators join groups that are popular among kids. They maliciously connive to become trusted confidants, and many teens see these online friendships as outside validation. One particular site that is used by criminals is Omegle. It connects strangers at random through webcams, chat boxes, and microphones.

Jennifer’s girls were the victim of one such ploy. She told reporters that apparently her eight-year-old daughter had been playing online games. She wanted to connect with other friends and was prompted to give the name of the server she was using. Because the child didn’t know it, she looked for an online server, not knowing that it was dangerous.

A women in Oregon accidentally stumbled across the feed while looking for satellite images. She immediately started a social media campaign to notify the unknown victims. Fortunately, someone who knew the family recognized the room and contacted the mother.

A women in Oregon accidentally stumbled across the feed while looking for satellite images. She immediately started a social media campaign to notify the unknown victims. Fortunately, someone who knew the family recognized the room and contacted the mother.

“From what I understand, there’s tons of unprotected servers out there these kids are going on and basically people are waiting for them,” the mother told reporters. Criminals use such unwitting connections to learn the IP address of the victim. Once there, access to the monitor, computer system, and even DVR is a simple few lines of code away.

The activity took place for weeks before a fortunate circumstance illuminated the crime. Shelby Ivie, a mother of two in Oregon, told reporters that she had been looking at satellite images of Earth with her son last weekend.

While searching for additional satellite feeds, she accidentally discovered the free Live Camera Viewer app, which she downloaded. As she scrolled past images on the software, she saw the live feed of a child’s bedroom in Houston, Texas. The feed was labeled with the location.

Ivie was horrified and told reporters that she was “in tears, thinking of the violation” the family must feel. She immediately began a social media campaign to stop the unlawful intrusion. Creating a Facebook post about the feed, she shared it to a variety of news outlets’ pages and posted it in mom groups. The image she captured was shared over 4,000 times before Jennifer found it.

Another friend of Jennifer’s saw the warning and told her about it. Thanks to Ivie’s quick-thinking compassion, the feed has been severed, ending the family’s nightmare. The webcam hack was a horrific invasion of privacy, perpetrated by some online pedophiles. Unfortunately, they may never be caught.

Jennifer urged other parents to be more vigilant, and has suspended Internet use for her kids. She’s warning others not to make her mistakes and allow children unsupervised access to the Internet.