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The person, identified as Mahmoud Abdul in Cairo, Egypt, uploaded the pictures with a message that said “Really, cute couple [sic]”.
Unfortunately, the BIOS solution is relatively rare and typically found on computers from vendors with heavy institutional sales.In 2014, again courtesy of the Snowden leaks, we learned that the NSA has a host of tools at its disposal to remotely monitor users like “Gumfish”: a malware tool that allows for remote video monitoring via your webcam.In early 2015, a group known as Black Shades was broken up after it was discovered that the software they sold for $40 a pop had been used to give millions of purchasers remote access (including webcam access) to victims computers; that’s hardly a new trick though as old programs like Back Orifice were used in the same fashion back in the 1990s.Ten years ago the idea that people—be they government agents, hackers, or just law-breaking voyeurs—could actively spy on you through your computer’s webcam would be the considered the ramblings of a paranoid conspiracy theorist.A slew of news stories over the intervening years, however, have revealed that what was once considered paranoia is now an uncomfortable reality.But these days, it's what we bring inside our house that makes us vulnerable.
Once a concern that was the province of the paranoid, years worth of reports and revelations have made it readily apparent that people really can spy on you through your webcam. TL; DR version: Script-kiddie hackers and teenagers can, and do, use easily accessible tools and phishing techniques to hijack webcams of unsuspecting people, often who they know, and watch them through their camera.
A few weeks ago in Toronto, Chelsea Clark and her boyfriend were snuggling in their own home watching Netflix together on his laptop.
This sounds very similar to what lots of people do to relax at home in the evening.
It’s Not Just the NSA We want to emphasize the whole “hardly a new trick” bit and the ease with which even marginally skilled malicious users can gain access to your computer.
This article over at Ars Technica, Meet The Men Who Spy On Women Through Their Webcams, is an unsettling account.
Reboot your computer and enter into the BIOS (follow the on-screen instructions to enter “SETUP”, typically by pressing the F2 key, the DEL key, or a function key combination of some sort).