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When my webcam is not in use I place electric tape over my laptop’s webcam. That is literally the only paranoia that I have when it comes to being online. Sure, I’ve got the XSS NoScript addon and a few other firewall type rules but big deal, that’s almost standard issue – but that’s about it. I use Ubuntu Backbox as my day-to-day operating system so that kinda firms up “regular” nasties out there due to the holiness of Linux, but the one thing which might make me slightly uneasy is my webcam. Yes, the lowly webcam.
There are many tales of horrific hackers (criminals) out there purposely hacking into their victims machines to only own their webcam. Stories of children’s webcam’s being hacked is particularly disturbing. Incidentally, child security is a topic close to our hearts here at Concise Courses – we had two Hacker Hotshot events (Helping Kids Learn About Cyber Safety and How Secure Is Your Child’s Social Security Number?) on the subject with speakers from McAfee and the mighty Winn Schwartau.
So why the paranoia?
Do you get changed in the morning with the curtains wide open? Well, there’s half the reason. The other half is that we work with unbelievably talented and smart information security experts that we invite onto our Hacker Hotshots webshow. These guys have shown on many occasions how tools and hardware can be used for malicious intentions and there a million and 28 tools out there at the last count that can hack into YOUR webcam. Google camfesting and you’ll catch my drift.
Am I paranoid, cautious or just weird? Let me know – we would all love to hear your thoughts!