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Abusing the Internet of Things by Nitesh Dhanjani

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Chapter 3. Assaulting the Radio Nurse—Breaching Baby Monitors and One Other Thing

The license plate 4U-13-41-N.Y belonged to a blue Dodge sedan owned by a gentleman by the name of Richard Hauptmann. Hauptmann was accused of and later executed for kidnapping and murdering 20-month-old Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr., the son of well-known aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

On the evening of March 1, 1932, the toddler was abducted from his family home in East Amwell, New Jersey. His body was discovered two months later. The cause of death was a massive skull fracture. The investigation spanned two years. 250,000 copies of serial numbers associated with ransom bills were sent to businesses across New York City. Hauptmann was finally caught by a bank teller who recognized one of the bills, which had the license plate number of Hauptmann’s car written in the margin. Apparently, a gas station manager had scribbled it in because he felt the customer issuing the bill was acting suspicious and suspected him of being a counterfeiter.

The Lindbergh kidnapping was well publicized, and the conclusion wasn’t without controversy. One of the outcomes after the case was the development of the first baby monitor, called the “Radio Nurse,” created by the company Zenith. The company’s president, Eugene F. McDonald Jr., felt compelled to produce a solution that would reduce the incidence of cases like that of the Lindberghs and asked the engineers at Zenith to come up with a product. ...

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