Camfecting – Is your webcam hacked?

Webcam hack protection

Camfecting is a process in which someone’s camera is unknowingly hacked into and activated without the owner’s knowledge or permission. This can be used to watch anything through the camera or anything in its field of view. Usually, cameras are infected through malware on ones computer. This means that if your computer is affected and your camera is compromised, merely turning the camera off will not be enough as it can be turned back on and used without knowledge or any indication that it is currently in use.

Camfecting in the News

There have been a couple of major, high-profile camfecting scandals. It is a well known fact that the creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has tape over his laptop camera. This shows that you can never really be too safe, and should take any precaution possible. It’s always better to be overprotected than underprotected.

A camfecting scandal that happened in 2010 brought the issue to the public eye. A school district was caught spying on its students through the webcams on the school-owned laptops. This was done through remote viewing and exploiting the students privacy. Eventually, the school was caught and forced to pay more than half a million dollars. This is just a single example of an issue that is prevalent daily, across the globe, and utilized by hackers. Staying safe on the internet is easy and necessary. Remember these words: it is better to be safe than sorry.

How can I prevent camfecting?

Preventing camfecting is easier than one might think, the best protection that one can have is just being vigilant of the sites that you visit or files that you download. Camfecting is mainly delivered to the target computer through a malware package, usually obtained through downloading a malicious package. Hackers can spread this malware through the classic trojan horse, which can take over a target computer with no indication, so if you are unprotected, you’ll never even know that you may be victim of camfecting.

Another, more obvious tip that you  might have seen, is putting tape, or a physical blocker over your camera. Rather than keeping the security on your computer tight, you can use the last line of defence which is to physically cover the camera. That way, there truly is no way possible to be spied upon, unless the hackers have some element of control over your microphone. Another important tip is to keep your PC updated and use updated antivirus software such as Avast, AVG, Avira or other. 

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