Researchers this week released news that your camera "on" light on your computer can be disabled though a remote compromise. This is sadly nothing new. But, the difference here is that it affected a young woman who enjoyed a level of fame. This propelled the issue into the mainstream press. So, there is a benefit to be had in all of this mess.
Just think of it.
You're standing in your kitchen in your birthday suit sipping a cup of coffee. You stretch, maybe scratch and then sit down to check your email. Next thing you know, you're getting a cameo on social media sites. Well, this has happened to many people. In this particular case the affected person was having pictures of her taken over and over again for a period of months.
Disturbing to say the least.
From the Washington Post:
Fortunately, the FBI was able to identify a suspect: her high school classmate, a man named Jared Abrahams. The FBI says it found software on Abrahams’s computer that allowed him to spy remotely on her and numerous other women.
Abrahams pleaded guilty to extortion in October. The woman, identified in court papers only as C.W., later identified herself on Twitter as Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf. While her case was instant fodder for celebrity gossip sites, it left a serious issue unresolved.
The article from the Post goes on to discuss the fact that cameras on laptops can be compromised et cetera. Sadly, this is nothing new. Trojans from the 90's like SubSeven and a host of others had this ability back then. The problem is compounded now that almost every laptop in production has a built in camera.
Now, besides taking the time to secure your wireless access point at home and ensure that you have the basics like anti-malware protection and a good firewall on your system, you should use a very "elite" trick that I have learned to use since my days as a contractor for the US military.
I present to you, the fix:
All joking aside, using a sticky note is very effective and you can get them at any store, like Staples, for minimal outlay.
(Image used under CC from Pacificat Ragdolls)