Monday, January 6, 2014

Research shows how MacBook Webcams can spy on their users without warning

Research shows how MacBook Webcams can spy on their users without warning
Last week, researchers at Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Computer Science showed off an exploit that allows a hacker to take over some MacBook computers and activate their Web cameras without the users’ knowledge.

The webcam hacking technique, first reported by The Washington Post, is said to be similar to a tactic used to spy on Cassidy Wolf, a 19-year-old Miss Teen USA, who fell victim to a webcam hacker earlier this year.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested the man responsible for the spying on Ms. Wolf. He pleaded guilty to charges in connection with his spying on her and a number of other women, using software that could snap a picture or record video of them without warning.

The Johns Hopkins paper, titled “iSeeYou: Disabling the MacBook Webcam Indicator LED,” explains how the researchers were able to reprogram an iSight camera’s microcontroller to activate the recording functions and LED activation lights independently to spy on someone without giving that person any idea that the computer camera is in use.

This problem with the onsite LED indicator is a problem with both old and new MACBOOKs. 
Watch the full repot here from the Washington Post

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