How Computer Camera Hacking takes place


Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg always covers his laptop camera with a tape and did you ever wonder why he is practicing so? Well, it’s because of privacy concerns, as hackers can hack the camera and see what a person is doing in front of the screen or get a glimpse of what was happening in front of the camera placed in a room or office.

According to a survey conducted by a non-profit organization in United States that did research in association with security firm Sophos, about 60% of online users do believe that this trend of hacking PC cameras exists since 2017 and the concern is ever increasing.

Now coming to the main point, i.e., how is this hacking takes place?

Well, as usual its simple for threat actors to break into a network and take control of a camera on a computing device- say smart phone, tablets, security cameras, laptop or such tech things.

The common approach set by criminals in this hacking tactic is to send email messages laced with links that either take the victim to a compromised website or immediately drop malware.

They usually fill these emails with either photos, videos or tempting subject-lines that entice the victim fall prey.

Sometimes, after taking control of the camera, they record images or videos and start blackmailing the victim to a level where they even attempt suicides. Already Indian police have witnessed 7 such deaths in the year 2020 and 2021. And the most common place to trap victims is WhatsApp.

See, it’s simple, take control of the camera of the victim, record their private activities and call them and threaten them to leak such videos or images on the internet, if they fail to pay the demanded sum.

Similar to extortion tactics…. isn’t it?

So, how to prevent from falling prey from such camera hacking tactics?

·       Just avoid clicking on suspicious links and never download files from untrusted resources.

·       Put a cotton swab on the camera and cover it tight with a tape when not in use

·       Keep the Operating system up to date with fixes to software patches and vulnerabilities

·       Never believe strangers who try to befriend you

·       Never share personal information on social media more than needed as it can land you up in such troubles

·       Never check messages received on WhatsApp or Telegram from unknown people, especially women posing in compromising state



Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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