How to secure your webcam and prevent webcam hacking

How to secure your webcam and prevent webcam hacking

Webcams can be a window for you to see the world, but they also provide criminals a view into your personal life. Here's what you can do to stop being kidnapped.

Webcams are great. They allow us to easily communicate face-to-face with family and friends, even if they are at the other end of the world. They allow journalists to interview people in far-flung corners of the world. They allow entrepreneurs in remote locations to do business with people in large cities around the world.

And so today almost all smartphones, laptops and tablets to notebook PCs, webcams have become standard devices these days. Just about every device we use has a camera.

But have you ever stopped thinking that while you are staring at your screen, someone else on the Internet may be staring at you as well?

In 2014, more than half a million Windows computers were infected with malware, allowing explicit access to users' web cameras and microphones. For reference, it is about one-sixth of the American population.

Webcam hacking is real. Webcam resolutions are getting much better these days, which means that high-quality photos and videos can be used for espionage or exploitation, so I'm here to guide you on how to secure your webcam.

National news periodically has news reports about hackers being tricked by hackers to install webcam spyware.

In 2016, taped photos of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's computer covering a webcam sparked much debate about the safety of personal webcams.

Many webcams on notebook computers have indicator lights that tell you when your camera is actively capturing video. But it may also be possible (on some cameras) to disable this activity light through software hacks or modified configuration settings. So, just because you don't see an activity light does not mean that your webcam is still not capturing video.

Webcam Malware

There have been numerous instances of malware specifically designed to target webcams to allow hackers to secretly view their prey.

The best of these pieces of malware were Blackshades, a remote access Trojan (RAT) that was distributed when victims visited infected websites, opened malicious email attachments, or plugged USB drives into their PCs. This is a malware used against Wolf.

In other functionalities, Blackshades allows a person using it to take full control of an infected user's webcam. This malware infected more than half a million PCs in more than 100 countries around the world, selling for at least $ 40 on the web.

The Blackshades RAT, available for sale on the web for just $ 40, enabled anyone anywhere in the world to become a dangerous cybercriminal who would be able to steal your property and invade your privacy. However, the malware maker was arrested by the FBI.

In 2012, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Citizen's Lab reported that black shades were being used against opposition forces in Syria, while others bought a hacking tool to get to know people, including a man from Leeds, whom in 2015 A 40-week suspended sentence was given. He used Blackshades against 14 people, 7 of whom he knew personally - using his ex-girlfriend's credit card to pay for it.

Recently Gartner reported on Delilah Malware that specifically targets enterprises and uses webcams to gather evidence from employees and their families, to blackmail them and their companies. Sensitive information can be obtained.

Webcam Streaming Sites

But hacking is not required in many cases to access the webcam. In 2014 the US and UK governments warned that there were several websites that were tracking unsafe webcams around the world.

These sites - which are not hacking anyone's systems - depend on the fact that most webcam, security camera, and IP camera manufacturers leave security settings unchanged when they are installed, and therefore can be monitored is.

The operators of these sites say they only scan for unsecured Internet-connected cameras and post snapshots taken from them on their sites.

How To Secure Webcam and Prevent Webcam Hacking-

So it is clear that there are some significant risks associated with having a webcam in your home or your workplace. Thankfully there are many steps to protect you, your family and your business.

1) The Simple Solution: Cover It Up

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. If you want to make sure no one is watching you through your webcam, get some electrical tape and cover it. If you don't want any tape residue on your camera,

Zuckerberg prefers a piece of black electrical tape, while Snowden is seen holding a blanket over his entire laptop to stop spies, but whichever you choose, you should always check that it is on your laptop or desktop computer The camera works by firing the app (or use the Skype test call feature) to see if you have blocked everything using the cover.

One of the problems with using a piece of tape is that should you need to use the camera at any point, the tape may leave a sticky residue on the camera's lens, although rubbing vigorously over this problem Can be solved.

If you don't want to use this solution, but want something more substantial, you can buy physical webcam covers online that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, some with a sliding door feature. Also occurs.

2) Close your laptop / Turn off your computer

If you use your webcam for Skype chat or video conferencing (or just want to check if your head hair is fine), instead of putting a cover on it, you can just make sure that Your computer is turned off when you are not using it.

Even the best hacker in the world will not be able to see if you are powering your PC down if you are turning off your laptop or if you are not using it.

3) Regularly scan your computer for webcam malware

Hackers are very good at circumventing traditional security measures such as antivirus software and generally spotting webcam focused focus malware is not something these antiviruses do well.

But this does not mean that you should do nothing.

You should use a good antimalware as a second opinion. As their name suggests, they act as a secondary malware detection and removal program, where the primary scanner of an antivirus installed on your PC fails to detect an active malware infection.

Hackers actively perform malware coding to avoid some antivirus software. So it is always a good idea to use antimalware such as Malwarebytes if you have a webcam on your PC or laptop.

4) Change the default admin and password

If you are using a standalone webcam, either with your computer or as a security camera or child monitor, then you need to make sure that you have changed the default settings before you leave the factory Was configured by the manufacturer.

These changes are made by the software that came with your camera.

5) Avoid Opening E-mail Attachments From Unknown Sources

If you get an email from someone you don't know and it has an attachment file in it, think twice before opening it because it may contain a Trojan horse malware file that installs malware related to a webcam on your computer Can do.

6) Avoid Clicking Shortened Links on Social Media Sites

One of the ways of spreading webcam-related malware is through links on social media sites. Malware developers often use services such as TinyURL and Bitly to shorten links and try the correct destination link, which is likely a malware distribution site.

7) Use a Firewall

Another perfect way to protect your webcam is by using a firewall. It is software that provides an additional layer of protection by monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic. This prevents unauthorized access to your device and filters out any traffic to be blocked.

Most firewalls will need to be manually turned on, so you should go into your device settings and make sure it is enabled.

8) Disable Your Webcam

If you are not planning to use your webcam for some time, you can always disable it. While this may not actually stop a determined hacker, it will stop most methods of gaining control, as the malware used will probably not attempt to re-enable the cam or install its drivers.

The easiest way to disable your webcam in Windows Device Manager. Use the built-in search on your desktop to find and launch it.

Device Manager lists each piece of hardware connected to your computer by category. Webcams are usually listed under Cameras, but you will also find them under categories like Imaging Devices.

When you find your camera, right-click it, and select Disable device. Windows will ask you to confirm. You may have to restart your computer for the change to take effect.