How could someone take over your webcam?

nchristine

I see anecdotal stories about some creep taking over the webcam of some poor unsuspecting virtuous individual, and then viewing the hapless and unaware victim in what they think is a private setting. I’ve never heard of it happening to anyone I know, so I assume it is a rare occurrence. How could someone actually gain control over your webcam? Is it something to be concerned about?

Topic: Security
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jimlynch
Vote Up (21)

Here's an article that covers some of the topic.

Meet the men who spy on women through their webcams
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/03/rat-breeders-meet-the-men-who...

"RAT tools aren't new; the hacker group Cult of the Dead Cow famously released an early one called BackOrifice at the Defcon hacker convention in 1998. The lead author, who went by the alias Sir Dystic, called BackOrifice a tool designed for "remote tech support aid and employee monitoring and administering [of a Windows network]." But the Cult of the Dead Cow press release made clear that BackOrifice was meant to expose "Microsoft's Swiss cheese approach to security." Compared to today's tools, BackOrifice was primitive. It could handle the basics, though: logging keystrokes, restarting the target machine, transferring files between computers, and snapping screenshots of the target computer.

Today, a cottage industry exists to build sophisticated RAT tools with names like DarkComet and BlackShades and to install and administer them on dozens or even hundreds of remote computers. When anti-malware vendors began to detect and clean these programs from infected computers, the RAT community built "crypters" to disguise the target code further. Today, serious ratters seek software that is currently "FUD"—fully undetectable."

jimlynch
Vote Up (20)

Here's an article that covers some of the topic.

Meet the men who spy on women through their webcams
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/03/rat-breeders-meet-the-men-who...

"RAT tools aren't new; the hacker group Cult of the Dead Cow famously released an early one called BackOrifice at the Defcon hacker convention in 1998. The lead author, who went by the alias Sir Dystic, called BackOrifice a tool designed for "remote tech support aid and employee monitoring and administering [of a Windows network]." But the Cult of the Dead Cow press release made clear that BackOrifice was meant to expose "Microsoft's Swiss cheese approach to security." Compared to today's tools, BackOrifice was primitive. It could handle the basics, though: logging keystrokes, restarting the target machine, transferring files between computers, and snapping screenshots of the target computer.

Today, a cottage industry exists to build sophisticated RAT tools with names like DarkComet and BlackShades and to install and administer them on dozens or even hundreds of remote computers. When anti-malware vendors began to detect and clean these programs from infected computers, the RAT community built "crypters" to disguise the target code further. Today, serious ratters seek software that is currently "FUD"—fully undetectable."

MateATech_YahZIWH4S
Vote Up (18)

answer to your question is YES.

it is possible for someone to hack into your system and control your webcam. Most recent example that i've heard of is with FBI Ransomwares. There are several variants of it and some of them have been reported to be able to hibernate in poor unsuspecting virtuous individuals computer  and control webcam too. 

note : what i am not sure about is if they can control a small LED bulb like thing that you might have seen right next to your webcam that lights up when webcam is in use.

cuetip
Vote Up (15)

Maybe worried is too strong of a word, but it can happen, and you should be aware of it. The same security measures you take to prevent any trojan from being installed should go a long way towards keeping your webcam in your control. You can always use a piece of tape to cover it if you are really concerned. 

cuetip
Vote Up (14)

Also, here's a BBC article on hijacking webcams that you might like. 

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