How to say your webcam on laptop or smartphone has been hacked

Most of us who have been gaining knowledge about the current cybersecurity landscape are aware that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg covers his laptop with a tape to avoid any prying eyes tracking him down through the webcam. It is learnt that the owner of Meta also keeps the front camera of his iPhone covered with a cover to keep his private life away from snooping eyes.

Tove Marks from VPNOverview did some analysis on how hackers can take control of a webcam just by implanting a small malicious software code that thereafter allows them to gain a video streaming of what is happening before the cam.

Therefore, the next time when you see your webcam light blinking and device battery exhausting faster than usual, you must quickly put the device under surveillance.

A recent study made by VPNOverview says that one in every three Americans does not know that their webcams can be hacked and their privacy can be breached. So, the online resource that shares knowledge about online security encourages people to gain knowledge of the current threat landscape and follow basic security hygiene while accessing online resources through devices such as computers and smart phones.

What happens if the webcam is in control of a hacker?

Let us analyze it with an example: In the year 2016, a couple living in a condo in New York received a call. Actually, it was the female who receives a call on her Skype account stating that her private life activities were recorded and if she doesn’t obey the demands of the hackers, the videos will be posted on the X-rated websites.

She was first shocked and contacted her partner, who then asked her to visit the nearest police control room. By the time she narrated the incident to the cops at the office, her partner came and stood beside the lady and explained to the cops that she might be a victim of S$%tortion.

As predicted, the cops found that the lady’s laptop webcam was hacked and cyber criminals caught hold of her private audio and video to a certain extent and so were using those clips to blackmail her.

What if the same thing happens with the kids in our house whose nanny cams are hijacked and the life of the child falls into jeopardy?

Agree that it’s not that easy to do so. But it’s not that tough as well; especially with a range of technology-based hardware and software available for purchase online.

So, better keep your phones covered with a bookcase pouch or your laptops covered with a tape. And do keep a vigil on the webcam light and always update your PC or phone with the latest security and OS updates.


Naveen Goud
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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