Webcams Are Spying On You

Webcam hacks? No, this isn’t a conspiracy theory.

Victims have seen images and videos of themselves, in various states of undress or in compromising situations, uploaded to voyeurism websites.

An example is a Russian-based website that was discovered a few years ago. It had compromised 600 British cameras and more than 10,000 others from around the world. It was posting voyeuristic images and videos it had captured from these cameras.

Are webcam hacks easy?

Yes.

Many are vulnerable due to lack of security-by-design and can be easily compromised by even inexperienced hackers. The malware can be inserted in your computer via phishing attacks or websites that are infected.

According to Bullguard, some webcams manufactured in the Far East have had malware inserted into them during the manufacturing phase.

Potentially more frightening is the many examples of ‘smart’ baby monitors being hacked.

How can you tell if some is spying on you?

The clearest indicator of whether you’ve fallen prey to a webcam hack is the little LED indicator light next to the camera is on, even when you’re not using it. Having said that, this signal can easily be disabled by even unsophisticated attackers.

Other clues include video and audio transmission from the webcam and webcam processes and services that are running.

How to stay safe

  • First, change the webcam’s password.
  • When it’s not in use, cover it up with some tape.
  • Regularly do an internet search of your webcam manufacturer to check for recently discovered vulnerabilities
  • Apply updates as soon as possible whether they are for webcam drivers or the webcam application
  • Use good security software such as BullGuard Internet Security, which will detect and block malware designed to exploit webcams.

 

Is There a Script Kiddie Watching You?

Webcam

 

A recent article in Trascendit caught our eye. It was about webcams, or more specifically about people watching you through yours.

It’s not a sophisticated hack, but it’s rather unnerving because they’re not doing it for financial gain; instead, they’re doing it for fun.

The people behind it are known as Script Kiddies (or skiddies). They don’t write any complicated software or code to get into your machine; they rely on you to do the damage for them.
They use a simple phishing scam that’s sent directly to your email that’s made to look like any other email from an organisation. But once you click a link the malicious software installs without you realising.

This type of malware isn’t designed to steal your passwords or card details, (at least, not at first) but to give the sender remote access to your machine. It’s called a Remote Access Tool, or just a RAT – and it’s exactly as unpleasant as it sounds.

Once installed, the Script Kiddie has complete control of your machine. They can flip your screen, open your disk drive, open websites, browse your private documents and pictures and log your keystrokes to steal your information. Or, if they prefer, just turn on your webcam and microphone and start watching.
The scariest part of this hack is that it’s almost impossible to know whether you’re a victim.
There are things you can do to make sure that you don’t end up on one of these sites:

  • Learn how to identify phishing emails
  • Don’t use torrents
  • Install antivirus software, and do a full scan every month or so
  • Get yourself awebcam cover – just in case.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Fancy a 4K Pro Webcam With HDR Support?

Logitech brio webcam

 

You could be forgiven for thinking the age of the separate webcam is gone. Because most laptops and tablets come with them built-in, the need to scour the market for your ideal product is redundant.

Or is it?

Logitech doesn’t think so after launching the Brio. It is the first 4K webcam that comes with a raft of features to make sure your Skype calls look stunning for those who are serious about video quality.

The question we want to ask is, is it worth it when most devices come with built-in ones anyway?

Let’s look at the pros and cons.

The upside

On the plus side, the Logitech Brio’s camera is capable of shooting in 3,840 x 2,160 at 30 frames per second (Ultra HD), 1,920 x 1,080 at 30 or 60 frames per second (Full HD), or 1,280 x 720 at 30 or 60 frames per second (HD).

It is also capable of facial recognition, so if used in conjunction with Windows 10, you can use the Windows Home feature to log into your laptop using your face.

There is also a 5x zoom and support for Logitech RightLight 3 with HDR which makes for an excellent performance regardless of the light conditions.

Plus, you can choose between a 65-degree, 78-degree, and a 90-degree field of view, omnidirectional microphones, privacy shade and a flexible mount.

The downside

You guessed it; there had to be a catch although not a deal breaking one.

To stream at 4K, you will need to hook the Brio up to a USB 3.0 port. You’ll also need to use a computer that uses Intel’s seventh generation ‘Kaby Lake’ processors, which support Ultra HD 10-bit HEVC decoding.

According to Trusted Review’s Joe Roberts, this camera is now available in the UK for £209.

If video quality is a number one consideration for you, this might be worth a look.

 

 MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: Trusted Review