What was a paranoid thing has now become the rule among technology experts. In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg posted a photo commemorating the number of Instagram users – 300 million users accessed the app every day at the time. But in the background of the image, the protagonist was the computer of the founder of Facebook.
Several Twitter users have noticed that, on top of Zuckie’s MacBook camera, it has a piece of duct tape. On the side, where are the microphones built into the computer, plus a bit of electrical tape. Before being CEO of one of the largest social networks in the world, Zuckerberg had fun as a hacker in college. Is it really that such a paranoid idea?
Reasons to worry about this are not lacking. Ghostnet, a group of Chinese hackers, has invaded 2,000 cameras in 103 countries. Another 73,000 webcams were attacked in 2013. How do they do it? It depends on your type of camera. The most vulnerable are those who have wireless connection to the computer. They have their own IP address and connect via Wi-Fi. Without a strong password, it is easy to access webcam images – and most users forget to change the default product password. Some industries have anticipated this problem, especially those who offer adult services such as live sex cams.
Older, USB-connected, and newer cameras, embedded in the laptop, are less vulnerable, but can be accessed through malware – the famous computer virus that can be purchased with that corrupted serial episode you downloaded torrent or in the classic email attachment asfotosdafestaficaramotimas.exe.
These webcams come with LED lights, which tell you when the camera is on – if it blinks randomly without use, can be a sign of invasion. If this happens on a computer that has Windows as Operating System, it pays to do the following: restart the computer and wait 10 minutes to see if the light flashes again. In this case, start Task Management, click the Processes tab, and look for the name “winlogon.exe”. If it pops up more than once, run to disconnect the internet and scan with an antivirus system-wide.
In some situations, though, that may not be easy: the FBI itself has proven that hacking and hacking the camera without LED activation is possible. The internet is full of “beginner guides” to hack into webcams, and the motifs range from fun to jealousy in the relationship. You really need to be careful.