Webcam hacking; taking back what’s yours

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Today, cameras are everywhere — on our phones, our Alexas, baby monitors, desktops, laptops, home security systems, gaming systems, smart TVs and lots of other connected products too. And here’s a scary thought – those same cameras that are just about everywhere can be used to spy on us. Turning cameras into spying weapons is a whole lot easier than you’re probably thinking. One relatively easy way of transforming a humble camera into a snooping tool is by way of a RAT, or Remote Access Trojan. RATs are a kind of malware that controls systems (in this case, webcams) using a remote connection. Once the attacker has access, he or she can conduct a whole host of malicious activities on your network, including gaining access to your webcam.

These exploits are typically spread via infected email links and are simple to set up. All an attacker has to do is buy a RAT on a dark web marketplace for about $40 and then create a convincing-enough phishing campaign. Actually, attackers can even buy pre-written phishing kits on the dark web for between $2-$10. Then they insert the rotten executable into clickable links within the email and send it out. When a target clicks on the infected link, the RAT is installed on the user’s device and then they can access their target camera.

A sneak peek into what attackers can see

Lots of different entities might be interested in snooping in on your life — Employers and schools have been caught spying on their staff and students via laptop webcams. Certain government agencies have the ability to peer into your webcams. Malicious hackers can snap pictures of their victims as they are in their webcam’s field of vision. And attackers have been known to infiltrate baby monitors to take pictures of sleeping infants.

Once they have access to webcams, here is what attackers can see and do – they can record and look in on you at any time, take pictures, conduct facial recognition scans and Livestream your camera feed to the internet. Then, of course, they upload those pictures to the internet for blackmail purposes. In fact, back to that darned dark web, there hackers can find entire marketplaces dedicated to buying and selling ill-gotten webcam streams.

Protecting what’s yours

Nowadays every laptop comes with a built in camera, and every device has applications with camera access enabled on it. While some apps need this access to do their job (it’s kind of hard to use Instagram without allowing it to access your camera), a whole lot of them don’t really need it. And while this doesn’t necessarily mean that their intentions are less than innocent, you should think twice before granting that level of permission.

Now that you know how vulnerable you may be, it’s time to fight back and take control of what’s yours. That’s why we have developed a comprehensive webcam privacy solution. Far more than just a piece of duct tape or a little plastic slide-y window, Reason’s Camera Protection feature not only prevents attackers from recording you, it alerts you to any malicious activity taking place on your webcam. It’s easy to deploy and is effective against the full scope of webcam infiltration attacks.

Reason’s got you — and your webcams — covered

Today, there are just so many threats to privacy but that doesn’t mean that you’re powerless to stop them. With Reason’s Camera Protection, you can ensure that you’re never targeted via your camera — and that’s something to smile and say “cheese” about.