Currently, people spend a lot of time in front of their computers and electronic devices connected to the Internet, which makes them vulnerable to being spied on by cameras of these.
With the pandemic, the use of webcams it has become indispensable, whether to take classes, attend courses, work meetings or see family and friends. Although it may have all those utilities, it can also put users at risk.
This type of activity is known as “camfecting”a term in English that is given to the hijacking of a webcam of a user’s device (which can be that of the computer, tablet, mobile phone or any other that has a camera and connects to the Internet).
In accordance with ESET, cybersecurity company, attackers can choose when to attack and how. It should be remembered that cybercrimes move billions of dollars a year, that said, some of the ways to invade privacy is through:
Remote Access Trojans (RATs): are a particular type of malware that allow an attacker to remotely control a victim’s machine or device without the victim’s knowledge. For example, the attacker could turn on the camera without activating the light, record, and then send the video files to themselves.
The same malware can be used to record keystrokes, allowing them to steal passwords, bank details, and more. can be deploy like any other malware via: links or files malicious attachments in phishing emails, in messaging apps or social networks. They all look legitimate.
Home camera security devices exposed: with this class of devices the situation is slightly different, but they still represent a significant risk to privacy. These are CCTV cameras, like baby monitors and other devices that are becoming more and more common in homes.
Cybercriminals use a automated software. This program uses a database of previously stolen logins and tests these credentials on new accounts to see if they were reused.
Unfortunately, many of these cybercriminals attempting to compromise webcams reside far from the victim, in countries that turn a blind eye to this type of activity, especially when it is carried out by professional cybercriminals looking to extort money from their victims or sell personal data online. That makes it more important than ever that we take proactive steps to check if we’re being attacked.
Some of the signs could indicate that your webcam has been compromised:
The light indicating that the camera is active turns on: Although some attackers can make the camera light not turn on, this is not always the case. If it turns on when you’re not using it, your device may have been hijacked.
Presence of strange files on your computer: If a cybercriminal has made a record of your webcam, there may still be files saved on your computer. Look for anything unusual, especially in the documents or video folders that are part of your hard drive.
Presence of unusual applications on your system: One of the most common ways cybercriminals use to record from your webcam is by using a RAT. Scan your computer with an anti-malware solution and check for any alerts about software that shouldn’t be on your PC or device.
Your settings have been changed: Another thing that malware like RATs often do to pave their way is interfere with security software that is installed on a machine or in the operating system. Check if any security features have been disabled.
To avoid any of these attacks, make sure that your PC, mobile device, or smart home is always up-to-date at the software level and that you have anti-malware software installed.