Are webcam takeovers a myth or a real danger? Many unexperienced PC users have thought about this problem. At times, people are so much nervous about webcam hacks that they prefer not to use this great technological advancement at all. Is it true that a voyeur can secretly watch you through your own computer? Regrettably yes, it is possible – there occurred a number of such infringements of privacy. For example, recently a hacker has been arrested and judged for that. He had placed surveillance programs on girls’ Pcs by sending e-mails. When the e-mail message was being opened, the PC became web-exploit, allowing this hacker to view his “victim”.
This case is far from being a single one. Any of us can find himself in the same situation.
The high-risk group include people who do not use antivirus protection. Their computers can be attacked by malwares and Trojan Horse software which enable hackers to control your webcam.
Operation system vulnerability is another source of computer breaking and gaining access to webcam. For instance, there is such a vulnerability in UAC Windows 7 – due to it a vicious malware can change UAC settings making a computer unprotected against hackers. How does this viral infection happen? A program virus file is created, and after it has been moved to someone’s computer (for example, masked off as an image enclosed in incoming email attachments) it gains access to computer’s system files including webcam’s one.
What needs to be done to guarantee that your private life is fully protected against uninvited visitors? Firstly, don’t freak out. Just because your webcam can be hacked doesn’t mean it’s likely to be hacked. Webcam hacking cases are not that frequent. There should be a serious goal for that, because hacking is quite time-consuming. The hacker of the described above crime used hacking for racketeering – demanding money from girls. Still, if you are eager to secure your privacy, you would better draw your attention to the following ideas:
If you wish to keep your webcam safe from any breaking, just tape a piece of paper over your webcam! An alternative would be to unplug it whenever you aren’t using it – there is no one hundred percent guarantee that you are not being chased at a certain point in time.
You can also keep track of your webcam’s indicator light – if it’s turned on, the recording is being done.
Noone would be able to hack you webcam if he knows just your IP address. It is assigned to your computer by your provider, but does not indicate the exact route to your system. IP address seems to be insufficient info for gaining access to your webcam.
For your more assurance that your computer and your webcam are secured against hacks, you should install high-quality and time-honored software. Compared with PC webcams, TV webcams are, normally, easier to get hacked, because their operational systems have not been modified and updated to the required level yet.
Everyone surfing the web should be cautious. There are some simple rules to follow. You needn’t open spam email attachments and messages from an unknown source – they might contain Trojan viruses which would help intruders gain access to your webcam. You should download and install drivers on your devices (including your webcam) only from official developer’s sites.
You should use fire wall, update applications in your system, and the system itself too.
If you take your PC to a repair shop, you must chose a reliable one with trustworthy staff. Unfortunately, they have a possibility to infect your PC with spy or Trojan viruses in such a repair center.
There are two things at the same time – ease and trouble. On the one hand, you should not worry too much about this problem, because common user’s webcams do not attract hackers that much. On the other – who know? In any case, forewarned is forearmed!