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Webcam: Is someone watching me?

By Hurriken
Oct 18, 2012
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  1. I was wondering if some of you might be able to add some facts to a discussion I have been having with some friends. They say that it is possible that someone can watch "you" through the webcam of your computer. There was a CSI (one of those cop shows anyway) episode that had the murder watching people like that. It was even suggested that employers might do this on company owned computers. My friends keep paper over the cam when not in use!

    I say that it is possible but the watcher would have to access the computer and install a software program to do the job. This program would be found in your drive somewhere.

    Is this true? Is there some way to verify my system is clean if it is true? Is there anyway of doing it remotely without accessing the computer? I'm guessing that I'll be told this is ridiculous thinking.

    (If it is true may I suggest that in your answer you leave out how to do it and focus on protection)
     
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,093   +86 Staff Member

  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,514   +336

    A good hacker can use Remote Desktop to access the device, SO - - disable it until you need a Skype session and disable when done.
     
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,392   +1,585

    I know this is not possible with built-in cams, but I always unplug my cam when not in use. Then again you also have the option to disable hardware in device manager. While the cams are not in use they can be disabled, if unplugging them is not an option.

    Call me paranoid but I've seen too many spy movies, that make me wonder every time I look into a cam lens. Then again anyone wanting to spy on my ugly arse needs a brain scan.
     
    Dawn1113 likes this.
  5. Hurriken

    Hurriken TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 223

    Is there any way to scan my computer for any kind of software like this?
     
  6. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 5,447   +242

  7. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Posts: 375   +64

    Wow, pretty creepy subject.

    Wouldn't a good anti-virus program protect you against something like this? Don't the newer webcams come with some kind of indicator light for when they are in use? Or does one need something like Tripwire to help detect this sort of intrusion?

    In any case, if a hacker manages to write a trojan that your antivirus software is unable to detect, then I'd say he's one sick but determined peeping tom.

    Good thing I don't install webcams on my machines. I made sure the cam on my laptop is disabled -- and, yes, I have Windows' Remote Desktop Management service disabled, as well.
     
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,392   +1,585

    If they don't, they should and be a requirement by industry standard.
     
  9. Khanonate

    Khanonate TS Member Posts: 96   +8

    This about sums it all...
     
    Dawn1113 and St1ckM4n like this.
  10. Razer

    Razer TS Enthusiast Posts: 131   +11

    I guess antivirus and antimalware can prevent such this threat.

    one of my friend, to prevent this, she closed her integrated webcam lens on her laptop with black plastic tape or black sticker (the screen bezel is black, so you won't notice it) :)
     
  11. avoidz

    avoidz TS Maniac Posts: 454   +54

    Good to be a little paranoid. There's that story linked in this thread, and there was the other case of the school laptops spying on students at home. I just don't trust an open webcam.

    I keep a piece of black electrical tape over my notebook cam just to be sure. I only use it to log in.
     
     
  12. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,392   +1,585

    Eeeks, I'd prefer something that didn't leave such a sticky gooey residue when removed. And getting the residue on the cams lens, would be near impossible to clean. Electrical tape is the worst for leaving a sticky residue.
     
  13. avoidz

    avoidz TS Maniac Posts: 454   +54

    I fold the end of the tape over so it's not sticking to the lens cover. Any residue that might be left on the lid I can live with.
     


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