The Risks of Webcams

Webcams! A harmless communication tool to keep in contact with both friends and family… Only part of this sentence is true, and what many people will be surprised to read is that it is the harmless part of the sentence that is very far from the truth. So much so in fact, that people like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg are known to cover their Webcams with tape. But why is this?

Hackers Can Access Your Camera to Spy on You

It sounds crazy we know, but the fact is online security company Norton has let the world know that a sophisticated network of top international hackers in China, known as GhostNet, have already hacked more than 1,295 webcams in multiple countries. This includes a number of webcam devices such as baby monitors, and the reason that hackers gain such easy access is because the users are simply not aware that they need to change the default passwords after purchasing the webcam device. It is so easy to hack these webcams in fact, that reporters at the Daily Mail in the UK have already managed to hack into cameras and watch footage that would shock you, as they managed to see:

  • A number of babies in cots
  • A schoolboy playing games on his computer
  • A young boy asleep in bed
  • The inside of a Surrey vicar’s church changing room
  • An elderly woman who is simply sitting in an armchair at home
  • A couple of men in a kitchen eating a meal

How is a Webcam Hacked?

All that hackers need to do to access your PC (and then your webcam) is use a Trojan horse virus to attack your computer. This will then give them control of your PC or laptops functions. They do this by duping you into downloading innocent looking documents which then infect your computer with Malware. To ensure that this never happens you’ll need to:

  • NEVER click on suspicious attachments! This is because Email attachments to this day are still a major source of Malware infection.
  • ALWAYS employ the use of a firewall! This effective security measure provides a degree of protection against unwanted outside interference. A good computer will always come with a firewall, so it costs nothing to use it!
  • INVEST in a good anti-virus software! This will help to ensure protection against Malware and Spyware attacks, but be sure to also keep this software updated.
  • SECURE your wireless connection! Give it a unique password and NEVER simply leave it to operate with the default one that is provided when you purchase it.

Internet security is important, and is in fact one of the prime directives of our company. If you would like to know more about how we can provide you with safe and secure internet access, then please don’t hesitate to contact us at Macrolan today.

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