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Webcam Prank

Discussion in 'Computer Science' started by say what, Feb 11, 2014.

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  1. say what

    say what I like soft things...so soft!

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  2. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    Yes it can and does happen.

    Personally I wouldn't leave any webcams or microphones plugged into the computer. Best electronic security is to not be plugged in at all...
     
  3. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    It can be, yes.
     
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  4. OP
    say what

    say what I like soft things...so soft!

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    but...what if you have a laptop with a built in webcam? How do you prevent someone hacking in *panic*
     
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  5. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Okay, I'm not on a mobile device anymore so i can type a more detailed reply. I don't mean to be alarmist.

    In and of itself, "hacking" a webcam is not easy. The problem becomes when "hackers" develop an application that makes it easy for people who otherwise would not know how/could not otherwise perform this.

    So it's not easy, but people have made it so, if you are willing to pay for and/or find apps that can do this.

    That being said, while not uncommon, it's not super common either. Generally you'd have to find someone with the motive to do this kind of thing.

    As far as prevention - aside from a firewall - look at webcam covers, or you could always use a piece of electrical or duct tape.
     
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  6. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    you know what they say...

    the most secure computer is the one that is completely unplugged, turned off, and stored in an underground bunker.
     
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  7. OP
    say what

    say what I like soft things...so soft!

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    *runs out and buys tape*

    that's so creepy!

    I can remember a story last year about a vengeful ex-boyfriend posting videos of his girlfriend changing online- and she didn't know it! He just hacked through her webcam. I can't think of anyone who would want to do that for me...but the idea is just creepy.

    I read an article today about turning off remote access (http://www.zonealarm.com/blog/2013/10/are-you-being-watched-through-your-webcam/), and I have a firewall...but I'm still somewhat convinced that covering it up is the best thing.
     
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  8. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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  9. OP
    say what

    say what I like soft things...so soft!

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  10. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    Yeah firewalls and disabling remote access and stuff can work. However in some cases you can be convinced that it is working when it doesn't, especially on the 'user friendly' (Windows style) firewalls and security programs which block on a per application basis, because there's tons of ways around blocking specific applications. That's not how firewalls are supposed to work. Usually a firewall blocks everything except what is allowed on a networking basis, by ports and address, or some times even packet types or contents on the more advanced ones, so that no programs can use harmful ports or connect to unauthorized addresses without permission since it's blocked on the network layer regardless of the identity of the application.

    But yeah if in doubt just cover the thing up.

    Edit:
    Or basically you kind of have to know at least a bit about networks and how packets propagate in order to use a real and proper firewall, which is why they made these easy programs for people that don't know how, but because of that they are somewhat less safe because you just have to trust that it's working when it might not be. For real you have to run diagnostics and sniff the actual packets going over the wires to see what actually works and doesn't.
     
    #10 sprinkles, Feb 11, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
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  11. Tin Man

    Tin Man "a respectable amount of screaming"

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    Sprinkles and rawr have covered this well. Just a few things to add. Firstly the type of program most used for this sort of thing is called remote access trogan or RAT. It allows administrative control over the computer and is mostly used by people with little experience in hacking.

    There's usually an LED light which lets you know when a laptop's camera is activated. This can be disabled but those using RAT (or similar programs) will likely not have the experience. The ones who create their own programs, while able to turn the LED light off, are rarer it's unlikely you'll be targeted by them.

    Of course if you're computer is infected by a remote access trojan then you've probably got more serious problems (or maybe not, depending on your priorities).
     
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  12. barbad0s

    Banned

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    Also, even if a video of you changing gets leaked, it's not like your life will be over.
     
  13. OP
    say what

    say what I like soft things...so soft!

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    ...are you trying to tell me something, niffer? YOU'VE BEEN RECORDING ME THIS ENTIRE TIME??
     
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  14. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    [MENTION=3998]niffer[/MENTION] Plz send juicy bits to rawr@infjs.com .
     
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  15. Gaze

    Donor

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    Pretty much what I did :)
     
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  16. Tin Man

    Tin Man "a respectable amount of screaming"

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    A few days ago I downloaded a program which I knew was not secure. I was tired and impatient at the time and so didn't look for a trusted download. I was warned twice that this was a bad idea and didn't listen.

    I just ran a virus scan and sure enough a trojan horse was found. The best way to protect your computer is by not being an idiot. Don't download untrusted files or open suspicious looking emails. If you think it's suspect then it probably is.
     
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