FBI Director Tapes His Webcam, Says You Should Too
FBI Director James Comey freely admits that yes, he does tape over his webcam and that yes, he is aware that some people make fun of him for it–but he doesn’t care, and in light of events that have occurred in recent years, taping may be a very prudent course of action.
Webcams and other video capturing devices have long been a target of the more voyeuristic forms of cybercrime. Hackers have been known to infiltrate and remotely activate webcams, collecting footage and photographs of a victim’s private life and (sometimes literal) affairs to post online, often as a live stream. One high-profile case involved Cassidy Wolf, Miss Teen USA for 2013 and victim of webcam infiltration.
This particular hacker,a 19-year-old classmate of Wolf–Jared James Abrahams–received 18 months upon conviction for his crime, after admitting to committing similar crimes towards somewhere between 100 and 150 additional victims.
Wolf’s situation is far from unique, as hackers have used Remote Administration Tools (aptly known as RATs) to both spy on and terrorize their victims as they try to use their infected device. As the hacker watches their victim’s reactions, they may send commands to the computer that pull up adult material, hide functions from their desktop, even command the disk drive to open, all from thousands of miles away.
What makes this phenomenon even worse are the facts that these hackers refer to their victims as “slaves,” and the predominant use of RATs is mainly for the thrill of it.
These are all reasons that Director Comey has no issue with recommending that computer users at least put tape over their webcams, drawing parallels to locking up your car and home at night. He also brought up the fact that government offices all feature lidded cameras for added security. Many consumer electronic retailers and other outlets like Amazon even have adhesive-free products that stick on over web cameras on laptops that don’t leave the sticky residue of tape.
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