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Fort Worth Family Says Amazon Kindle Fire Hacked, Stranger Asks Child For Name, Address

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - The family of a 9-year-old boy in Fort Worth is sharing their story after they say a hacker targeted him on their Amazon Kindle Fire and began asking for private information.

"My fourth child was having some designated quiet time on his Kindle. The Amazon Kindle Fire that is specifically for children," said mom Alex Pitzer. "He said he heard a loud booming voice. Nothing like this has ever happened before."

A strangers voice came over their families Amazon Kindle Fire, who knew her sons name, Preston, and was asking him for their address.

"I was a little bit nervous when it happened," said Preston Pitzer.

Preston Pitzer
Preston Pitzer (CBS 11)

Alex Pitzer said she knew they'd been hacked and that a stranger had access to the camera and microphone, since the voice stopped when anyone else was around.

She says they have secure Wi-Fi and parental controls on the device, but experts say it can happen anyway.

Dr. Murat Kantarcioglu, a staff member at the University of Texas at Dallas, is well-versed in cyber security.

He says the hacker likely exploded a bug and was financially motivated.

"Mainly they are after getting financial rewards," he said.

His advice to parents is to keep updating your software, make sure your Wi-Fi is secure, as well as covering up your cameras on your technology.

But the Pitzer family says, there is a bigger lesson they learned.

"I think this is a real wake up call for all of us to assess the amount of time our kids are on these tablets and what can potentially happen."

A spokesperson from Amazon provided CBS 11 the following statement on the matter:

"The security of our devices and services is a top priority. We have a longstanding commitment to preserving the trust of our customers and their families, and have several key features that keep our devices secure, including rigorous security reviews during development and encryption to protect data. Amazon Customer Service is reaching out to this customer to look into this issue further."

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