Stick-Up Camera started Live View session 'by itself'

On October 9, 2021 at about 11:45 (EDT), I went into the family room to set the alarm for the night from the keypad by the back door. Since the room lights were off, the blue ‘recording’ light from the Stick-up camera in that room was obvious, which alarmed me since I keep Live View and Motion Detection turned off on that camera when the alarm is in Disarmed mode. I opened the Ring app and the camera was in the middle of a Live View session, even though neither the app on my phone or my wife’s phone was open and neither phone was in use at all. I immediately turned off Live View. My first thought was that somebody had hacked my account, even though both of our passwords are complicated enough that guessing the password would be unlikely. We both immediately changed our passwords. I turned Live View back on for about 30 seconds to make sure that the camera itself was working properly, which it was. It was possible that I had changed the setting to allow Live View in Disarmed mode to check the camera placement when I changed the battery several weeks ago and forgot to turn it back off, but that still wouldn’t explain how Live View on the camera got turned on in the first place.

Oddly, when I clicked on the previous Live View entry in the camera’s timeline, which showed that it lasted about 2 minutes, I received a screen saying “Recording does not exist. Sorry, but Cloud Video Recording was not active when this event took place.” Clicking on the ‘Learn More’ button took me to a document telling me how to schedule recordings, which was not helpful. When my wife clicked on the same event in her app, she just got a blank screen. Now, there is even no entry for that event on the camera’s timeline - only the following one where I tested Live View for 30 seconds.

My next thought was that the camera was triggered during a firmware update of either the camera or the alarm console, which would possibly explain the lack of a recording. However, looking at either device only shows ‘Up to date’ for firmware, no date and time of the last update.

Is there any way to find out whether there was a firmware update going on during that time for one of my cameras or for the base alarm unit? This is the second time that I’ve had what I thought was an ‘anomaly’ with one of the cameras, and I would like to know whether a new software update might have caused those, whether the cameras are starting to malfunction after a year, or whether somebody has hacked into my cameras or WIFI network. Is there any other way that Live View could be triggered other than by somebody using the app?

Personally, as a software designer and troubleshooter for over 40 years, I would think that an entry in the event log of the date and time of the last software update for each device attached to the alarm system would be expected, and wouldn’t be difficult to program. (An automated text warning a day or so ahead of time is probably too much to ask.) While the vast majority of owners would never need to know that information, if there’s a sudden problem, it would be nice to know whether an unseen software update might have caused it.

Thanks,

Ron E

Ron E -

Although the source (and/or exact symptoms) of your problem may be different… have you seen the Ring Community post titled “Random Live Event Recordings”? If you are able to solve your problem, I hope you post the source (and best solution) here for the benefit of other Ring Community members.

Regarding firmware updates… I strongly object to automatic updates of ANY kind. Worse yet is the strategy used by Ring… where the date (and version number) of firmware updates for each device is kept secret. I consider this a serious security issue.

Hi @RonE. This is definitely something our support team should look into. Please give our support team a call at one of the numbers available here. If you are outside of the US, please visit here to see how to contact support. When on the phone call, I would insist on talking to our Level 2 support, Neighbor Solution Expert team, as they will be the ones to better assist you. Feel free to update us when you find out more.

Thanks, I’ll check out that post, since I didn’t find it when I was looking for similar issues. Technically, I can’t call my single instance ‘random’ just yet, but it is concerning, since both of our phones were laying on a table and didn’t even have the Ring app up at the time. My previous ‘anomaly’ was the changing of some of my camera settings to something different than I would have ever chosen. I chalked that up to a firmware update by-product, too, but without any way to test that, there’s no way to say for sure.

I agree with the un-announced software updates. I’ve been through several large-scale software upgrades which we pushed out automatically over our company network. In all cases, the system had a list of the equipment scheduled for the next day, and used it to send an email (since we had the owner’s email address more reliably than their cell phone number) warning them to tell customer service immediately if they experienced any issues with the equipment the following day. We also had a process for removing particular entries from the list if the owner pleaded that they couldn’t risk any downtime for the next couple days. That type of service is probably beyond Ring’s ability, given the number of products. But a warning to at least Alarm customers with Protect Plus, and an indication on the device status screen of the current update version with the date and time would be valuable.

I just checked out the ‘random recordings’ post and when I checked my system, that’s exactly what I have going on, starting on August 21 on all 4 cameras. When I filtered on ‘Live View’ each camera had 10 or 15 events, even the cameras that I would seldom look at. Some of the recordings gave an ‘error in recording’ message, and most only lasted 20 or 30 seconds. I guess I’ll call support. Sounds like they need another software update. I bet the last one was August 20 or 21…

Thanks,

Ron