Webcam Hackers article

debo_2006January 24, 2013

While many of you techies may already be aware of this, other general computer users may not be so I thought I would share the link below (there's also a video).

I don't use my laptop camera - ever, but last year, I noticed a the camera's red light would suddenly flash on, now and then. While it may have been nothing, the first thing that came to mind was that someone was watching me. I had NOT turned my camera on and never do. Since then, I put a piece of tape over the camera.

While these webcam predators might not connect to YOUR computer, knowing it could happen is wise. I am not one to open emails from senders I don't recognize, but hackers have a way of hacking however they see fit. Just thought I'd share to warn those who may not know about this.

Here is a link that might be useful: Webcam hackers

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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I do know about it but thanks for posting because I know a lot of people do not know about it. I started covering my webcam camera long ago.
I would much prefer that they not come with webcams built in, I never use mine anyway. Now all of my tablets have them too.

For those that want to disable it if you will not be using it you can do that through device manager, with windows 7 there is the option to disable it and it will not re enable it on reboot.
How to Disable a Webcam

This post was edited by ravencajun on Thu, Jan 24, 13 at 14:22

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 2:18PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

Everyone take a deep breath, there's no reason to worry about your webcam. This is a sensationalized story.

Don't click on links you don't know to be trustworthy, don't open emails from unknown senders, don't download or install anything unnecessary (including the variety of unneeded utilities you sometimes see hereabouts), and keep your firewall and internet security software on and functioning.

Now that you've done that, DO enjoy the fun and joys of free video calls with out of town family and friends. For many people it's their favorite internet activity. Oh, and keep the tape in the drawer, nobody is using your webcam to watch you eating that peanut butter sandwich.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 2:43PM
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grandms

Unless I'm actively using my laptop, I always close the lid, so no such worries here. Anyway, if a voyeur gets a kick out of looking at an 81 year old great-granny, bless him/her.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 4:52PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

very timely, just saw this article which gives details on some other issues that can happen with web cams. It would be worth while to check the model of yours and see if it may be the type that needs a firmware update. You certainly don't want your camera to be broadcasting with out your knowledge.

Here is a link that might be useful: check your cam

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 12:43AM
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SnidelyWhiplash

My bad, my comments were right but I used the wrong word. OP used the wrong term and I continued that. The topic is PC cams, not webcams (which are a completely different thing).

Raven, the article you've linked seems to mush PC cams and webcams together, that's not helpful. I've never heard of this person, but I myself don't think of talk show hosts as any kind of authority on anything. But if you click on the right links in that article, you can buy directly from her that which she recommends. Give me a break.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 2:21PM
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mikie_gw

I have a trend net network cam. Looks out the top of my front kitchen window with a wide angle lens.
As I discovered one day - They are super very dangerous.

One day I noticed a big tree branch had fallen .. later went out to drag it around back.. walked right up to a sleeping alligator, disguising as a fallen tree branch until you get really close.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 6:54PM
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bob414

I guess a gator has to take advantage of it's opportunities.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 7:39PM
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kudzu9

snidely-
Kim Komando has been in the computer instruction business for a good 20 years, and has written a number of computer tutoring books; she also has a show that is on several hundred radio stations. Yes, she does have merchandise to peddle, but she is also a good source of computer knowhow for many folks. I'm not a supporter or a detractor, but she is not just a "talk show host" who is clueless about computers. Not trying to pick a fight...just providing some info.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:19PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

Thanks kudzu, good comments.

To respond, talk show hosts are entertainers and promoters, not purveyors of unbiased information. I could describe Rush Limbaugh the same way, in the business for 20 years, has written books, and is on hundreds of radio stations. I hope you don't consider him to be a source for news. He doesn't himself.

I've got no ax to grind, I just looked at that link and laughed at how someone could consider "information" from a person like that to be useful.

There are so many good people who provide objective tech information to the public - I think of Dvorak and Bajarin at PCmag, Pogue at NY Times, so many others. None EVER sells anything, recommends what they sell, or engages in self promotion, it would destroy the public perception of their journalistic objectivity. I'm certain they don't view her as a peer/colleague.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 1:06PM
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DA_Mccoy

KK use to be informative and reliable. Unfortunately her credibility slipped when she went corporate. Now she is just another source of information to be reviewed and digested. Her personalized products don't seem to rate all that high.

DA

This post was edited by damccoy on Sun, Jan 27, 13 at 16:52

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 4:48PM
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debo_2006

Snidely, OP used the word Webcam because that's what the article/video refers to. Says it right on the article heading.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:39PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

I see your point, Debi, my bad x 2.

Looking at it slower than the first glance, what's at work is unspecific terms. Your referenced TV piece has to do with malware that makes a PC's camera accessible to outside peekers. To me, but I understand not not necessarily to all, a "webcam" is different, it's used to intentional provide a view of a fixed place. Do a google search on webcam + a place name, like "Webcam Tokyo" or "Webcam Chicago", there's lots of interesting things to see. Also, people use them in homes for security, etc.

I still think both articles WAY overstate the case. The main subject is another flavor of malware that's easily avoided and even if not, rather benign.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 12:02PM
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emma

Oh Snidely, how did you know I was eating a peanut sandwich????

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 1:32PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

Emma, I couldn't tell, your hand was in the way, was that sandwich on whole wheat bread?

For a new sensation, next time try adding slides of sweet bread and butter pickles instead of jelly/jam. It's a surprisingly delicious combination.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 1:39PM
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